Monday, March 03, 2008

PYUtativ, Keith

Oh. My. God. I. am. so. prescriptive. But Keith Olbermann just said puTAtive, not once but twice.

But I checked it, and did like this note from the online etymology dictionary, "At first esp. in putative marriage, one which, though legally invalid, was contracted in good faith by at least one party." I hate when that happens!

3 comments:

The Ridger, FCD said...

I was watching Torchwood this weekend, and Ianto called Jack "inNOHVuhtiv". I swear, if he hadn't added "almost avant-garde" I don't think I'd have realized what he meant...

I know Brits tend to move the stress to the second syllable (miGRATory for instance, and conTROVersy which they unfairly blame on us for another) but this is one I hadn't heard before.

pam said...

I was very surprised at Keith's mispronunciation, which I'd never heard before tonight. Has anyone told him? I have a feeling he wouldn't respond kindly to some young producer correcting him.

John Cowan said...

Yet another piece of evidence for the notion that English is a penultimate-stress language with many exceptions. When people have to speak a word they have learned only from reading, they give it penultimate stress by default unless some compelling analogy distracts them.

My daughter provides lots of anecdotal evidence for this theory: she knows a whole lot more words than she can pronounce.