Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Word of the Week 6

My blog sister, Sissy of And What Next, has been at this word of the week for 6 weeks now. She is trying to improve our vocabulary and the reading grade level of her site. Sad to say, I just don’t see using some of her words on a monthly basis, much less a yearly basis – Need an example? Like the word “troglodyte”.

And yet she has words that I have seen in books before, and could possibly use in conversation if I could just pronounce it. It’s true, I have problems pronouncing some words. And apercu is another one of those words. Pint is the word I always get wrong. My English teacher taught it to me wrong and I have the hardest time remembering which pronunciation is correct. Don’t believe me? Ask my mom.

It’s not just an odd word or two, I have done some major mishaps to the English language (written as well as spoken). Much to the amusement of others. You are just waiting for the story aren’t you? You might as well get a smile ready. This one is all about VW and not about the kids.

I use to teach computer basics at the adult community schools. It was always a challenge to make it interesting. Especially when I ended up teaching a ‘generic’ class on computers. One of the items I would have to cover was computer terminology. During this class, the mishap happened when I was reviewing the terms: bit, nibble and byte.

For those not familiar with those terms, a quick review: a bit is a one or a zero; a nibble is 4 bits; and a byte is 2 nibbles.

I don’t remember the joke I use to tell, but it was about eating. And for this class, I never got to use it. I wrote the words on the blackboard. Just like this:

Nip-ple (minus the hyphen, this is for those people who read this stuff at work)

Think about what I initially say (even say it outloud) – “4 little bits are a nibble and 2 nibbles give you a byte”. Needless to say, while the class was ROTFL, I figured out what happened and turned beet red. And this is a ‘written’ mistake. I am not going to admit to some of my ‘spoken’ mistakes. And I doubt you will ever hear me say apercu in public.

Are you willing to share any of your written or spoken mistakes? Go ahead, be brave.

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