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How Do You Pronounce “Palindromist”?

The Palindromists documentary explores a mini-controversy: How do you pronounce the word palindromist? Some people put the stress on the first syllable, but other people and reference works, including the Oxford English Dictionary, stress the second...

The Best Pronunciation of “Tinnitus”

Kay in Sparks, Nevada, wonders how to pronounce the term for the ringing in one’s ears known as tinnitus. Some people rhyme it with arthritis, while others stress the first syllable instead. Either is acceptable. Tinnitus derives from Latin...

The Ugly Word

Sir Paul McCartney once wrote a song that included the phrase female pulchritude and luminosity. The word pulchritude means “beauty,” but why such an ugly-sounding word for such a lovely thing? Pulchritude derives from pulcher, a Latin...

Saying Pee Ay for Pennsylvania

Why do so many people in the Keystone State refer to it with the letters P-A rather than sounding out all the syllables in Pennsylvania? Especially when they say a city in that state and then Pee Ay? This is part of a complete episode.

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