« Referendums or referenda? | Main | British dialect words »

March 25, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Jemmy Hope

A couple of changes I've noticed -
The word 'schism', which we were taught to pronounce 'sizm' is now pronounced 'skizm'.
The word 'research' which used to be stressed on the last syllable is now pronounced by TV and radio reporters with the stress on the first syllable. My 20th century dictionary only gives the first pronunciation, but my 21st century dictionary declares both to be acceptable.


Very interesting post, Susan.

I would not only agree with Jemmy's comment, but would add "shh-ism" to the mix, at least over here. I have also heard the two variants Jemmy raises. Personally I use "skism", but have no idea why or whether I'm being proper.

Virtual Linguist

Thanks to you both. I don't think I've heard the 'sizm' variant, Jemmy, although I must admit the word doesn't crop up a lot in my conversations (it did when I was studing Russian history though). The 'shh-ism' pronunciation sounds as if it is someone who is going by the spelling and has never heard it spoken, I think.

marc leavitt

Hi Susan:

Years ago, I was chatting with some work friends at the pub, and I referred to someone's "hyper-boll."

Conversation stopped dead, except for a nervous giggle from one of my companions.

Up to that point, I had been using hyperbole and hyper-boll interchangeably, never bothering to look up "hyper-boll," or wondering at their vsimilarity.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner