Can You Pronounce February?, 3488
Good morning, I’m still reporting on February.
So, this morning, as I was getting an early start this month, I was adding the name of the second month of the year into the opening slate of our reports – and realized – as I do every first day of the second month, that I don’t know how to spell it. So, I quickly checked with a handy calendar and low and behold, it is spelled F-e-b-r-u-a-r-y.
Where in the heck does that extra “r” come from? You would have to pronounce it Feb-bru-ary.
So, I quickly searched on Duck and found a plethora of videos on this topic.
Even in the UK it is not pronounced as it is spelled – Feb-bru-air-ey.
Now if you go to Websters Dictionary, this is how the word looks in phonetic spelling, which makes absolutely no sense at all.
But here is their alternate pronounciation
So, imagine if you were a new immigrant to our once fair shores. You would and should select the first pronunciation in Websters, and the only pronunciation you hear commonly, Feb-u-ary.
It takes years of writing for writers to realize that they not only some power, but primary power over how words are done. Therefore, it is writers who have the primary responsibility for improving the English language.
Who does Websters go to for new words, as well as the definitions, pronunciations and even spelling of old words? Us writers.
Here’s how Websters explains it:
“Each day most Merriam-Webster editors devote an hour or two to reading a cross section of published material, including books, newspapers, magazines, and electronic publications; in our office this activity is called "reading and marking."
“The editors scour the texts in search of new words, new usages of existing words, variant spellings, and inflected forms – in short, anything that might help in deciding if a word belongs in the dictionary, understanding what it means, and determining typical usage.”
Any word of interest becomes a citation. For inclusion in the dictionary typically numerous citations have to pile up.
“Merriam-Webster's citation files, which were begun in the 1880s, now contain 15.7 million examples of words used in context and cover all aspects of the English vocabulary.”
Even in Webster’s unabridged dictionary, only 300,000 English words make the cut. About another 700,000 words are either outdated, or too new and specialized to warrant inclusion. So, for a new word to be included – or a new spelling of an existing word - typically an older word must go.
The point of all this is that I beseech the 535 members of the 117th United States Congress to immediately pass the Febuary act, changing the spelling and pronunciation of the second month of the year to F-e-b-u-a-r-y. Feb-u-ary.
That should be sufficient to bring about a permanent change in the dictionaries by next Febuary, thereby eliminating much confusion for the hordes of new immigrants soon to be entering our nation.
I'm still reporting from just outside the Citadel of American freedom. Good day.
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