Mundane comment about a question answered on the airwaves today: Why is “colonel” pronounced “kernel”?
Other than an occasional crossword clue, you really don’t see or hear the Straight Dope mentioned quite often in public media. Today, on Public Radio Station WNYC 93.9FM in NYC, I heard a rare exception to that rule. During the noon hour, on the Leonard Lopate Show, monthly guest (and wordsmith) Patricia O’Conner was stumped on a caller’s question about the pronunciation origins of the military word; colonel.
After Ms. O’Connor fumbled through the Oxford-English Dictionary for a moment, and read a line or two about the word colonel’s Italian origins from its entry, someone from quickly e-mailed a more elaborate and detailed answer. Whether that uncredited individual works on the staff of the Straight Dope, is an SDSAB member, posts here on the SDMB - or just someone with quick Google skills who decided to answer on behalf of the Dope is still a mystery to me. Whodunit?
As a small aside, I take issue with (the usually humorous) host Lopate’s opinion on the answer’s ‘anglo-phobic’, tone. He must’ve forgotten one of the tenets of life; ‘If the shoe fits, wear it’. If you’d like to catch the +/- 40 minute segment, hear the Straight Dope call-out and learn the origins of the words such as; windfall, slipshod and scuttlebutt: the mp3 simulcast will most likely be available later today here, on the WNYC website page of the Leonard Lopate Show.