As part of 5th Anniversary Week, we’re bringing back old comment diversions for a few days, and tonight’s is my all-time favorite diversion, and one of the most popular. It was a great source of comedy, and kind of perfect for our audience. Here’s the diversion in full:
Funny thing about mispronounced words: Until someone corrects you (often in a very embarrassing situation) or until you inadvertently learn otherwise, you can go an entire life obliviously mispronouncing words or mangling idioms. That’s the topic of today’s comment diversion, as suggested by Katherin: Words and idioms you learned later in life that you’d been mispronouncing or mangling for years. Common grammatical mistakes can also be included in today’s diversion (e.g., the most common one I see in these parts: commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks, people — unless you’re a foreigner — while question marks and semicolons go outside the quotation marks, unless they’re part of the quote).
For my part, it wasn’t until my mid-20s before I realized that “awry” was pronounced: a-rye. I’d always pronounced it to rhyme with “bawdry.” I have no idea why — it’s just the way I read it. And on the idiom front, I was corrected as recently as last week on this one: It’s “one and the same” and not “one in the same.” Of course, if I didn’t misspell, mangle, or screw up a couple of things in every review, Jerce & A.M and the rest of our grammar Nazis would never comment.
Also, it’s library, not li-bary.