I read far more than I converse, and so I may see a word in print years before I hear it spoken. More to the point: I may end up saying it before I hear it pronounced correctly. This means if my first guess at the proper pronunciation is wrong I will read it many, many times and that improper pronunciation will be deeply ingrained before I realize my error. The risk here is that if I drop my incorrect usage into conversation I risk making a fool of myself.
This happens alarmingly often.
I saw the word “meme” years ago and have typed it and read it many times since then, always pronouncing it “mem” in my head. Yesterday I saw a Wiki on memes and found out it’s pronounced “meem”. Now I wonder: How many times did I use this word incorrectly in conversation and the other person was too polite to let me know I’m an idiot?
I spent most of the early 90’s thinking “cache” was pronounced “catch”. As in, “This system has 8kb of catch memory, that’s huge!” If I had guessed that I was saying it wrong, my next guess would have been “cashay”, to rhyme with “sashay”. Saying “cash” was not obvious to me at all.
Same goes for “Chasam”. I once earned a bit of riddicule when someone caught me pronouncing it the way it looks, instead of saying “kasam”.
Some people don’t have this problem, and I don’t know how they avoid it. Are they better at intuiting words? Do they run to the dictionary every tme they see a new word?
PC Hardware is Toast
This is why shopping for graphics cards is so stupid and miserable.
Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Batman v. Superman Wasn't All Bad
It's not a good movie, but it was made with good intentions and if you look closely you can find a few interesting ideas.
What Does a Robot Want?
No, self-aware robots aren't going to turn on us, Skynet-style. Not unless we designed them to.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.