I Pit "Nukuler"

This has bothered me for years, decades even. N-U-C-L-E-A-R is pronounced “new-clee-'r” not “nuke-you-ler”. Yet supposedly intelligent people, or rather those in the public eye who have people working for them who should know better, let this glaring mispronunciation go thru uncorrected.
It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Presidential speech writers should type it ut phonetically. Hollywood (TV & movie) directors should get another take (and another and another if necessary) until the actor says the word correctly. There is no excuse for it!
pit pit pit

what caused me to bring this up? watching an ad for season 4 of 24

Wow. That’s so 2001.

well, it’s been bugging me since, like, 1979!

What is even more sad is that the President’s advisers probably love this trait about him, since they believe it puts him more in touch with “the common man”, who, they believe, are all morons.

It’s a perfectly acceptable alternate pronunciation. And it’s no more out of touch with its spelling than how we pronounce “Wednesday”.

While I hate it about as much as you do, the fact is that our irrational prejudice against that particular alternate pronunciation is just petty elitism with no factual basis to stand on.

Echoed. I’ve heard some pretty smart people say “nucular.” Wasn’t Jimmy Carter one? Also, any specialists out there who know the regional breakdown of this pronunciation?

Way to carry a grudge, dude.

Well, he was a nucular scientist.

“Wenzday”. Yep. Another common one: “Febyuary”.

If I’m not consciously thinking about it, I say “nucular” myself, because that’s simply the way it comes out. I’m not entirely sure why, to myself and a large segment of the population, “nucular” is “easier” to pronounce that “nuclear”.

Where’s a linguist when you need one?

Doesn’t make it right.

Saying that doesn’t make it wrong, either.

I was all set to come in here and say, “2001 called, they want their joke back.”

Damn you, John_Stamos!

Somehow I’m in the habit of saying nucular too. I have no idea how that happened.

It doesn’t make incomplete sentences right, either.

My guess is that ‘nucular’ seems easier because it’s in line with a lot of (indisputably acceptable) pronunciations like ‘muscular’ or ‘molecular’. As ‘muscular’ shows, derived forms are not always all that similar to root forms; if you want to logically argue that /nu kli @s/ -> /nu kli @er/, then you’ve got the problem of explaining why /mU sl/ -> /mUs kju l@r/. It’s a mistake to look for a neat logical correspondance between roots and derived forms. That’s just not how language works.

I think I’m the SDMB’s official nucular apologist, so I guess that’d be me.

acceptable to whom?
I never thought about “Wenzday” but you’re right - however I’ve never left the first R out of February because my parents wouldn’t let me. both mom and big bro were born in february

btw - it was not meant as a joke - it seriously bugs the beejeebers out of me

Enough native English speakers to qualify as “accepted”. You realize that there is no governing body for the English language, right?

You’re in a no-win situation here. Trust me. There’s a multi-page pit thread in the archives where I was you in this argument.

Just accept your snobbery.

I don’t remember Carter saying it, but it *is * associated with him because of his background with nuclear science. I’m happy to be corrected if this is incorrect.

I had heard once that it had started with Eisenhower, so it may have quite a history.

Maybe I should look it up at the liberry. Maybe in Febyooary.

Just out of curiosity: Does anyone know *anyone * who pronouces it Wed-nez-day? Other than the kid with the broken glasses who was always having his book bag stolen?

I don’t see it as snobbery to pronounce it “newclear”. If it is then most British folk would be snobs, along with probably the majority of English speaking people.
I could be wrong but it seems an American thing.

No, the fact that it is not proper English makes it wrong.