Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 17:24:01 -0500
From: Mark Mandel
Subject: pundent

Duane Campbell wrote:

I don't know whether these things happen suddenly or whether they build gradually until they reach a critical mass
where I notice them. But when did "pundit" become "pundent"?

The word has been tossed out a bit more than usual lately on television news shows, and in virtually every iteration it
has been pronounced with that extra N slipped in.

Rather like "tenets" becoming "tenants", which I've noticed a lot. I can sort of see "tenant" as a case of thinking you hear
a familiar word in an unfamiliar context, but what the heck, English is full of weird homophones, it must be the word I
know. But "pundent" admits of no such explanation. However, there are plenty of English words ending in /[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]nt/ ([AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] =
schwa), and not many ending in /It ~ [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]t/. But the strongest candidate of all, IMHO -- not necessarily acting alone -- is
nasalization spreading from the first /n/. Discussion?

-- Mark

Mark A. Mandel : Senior Linguist : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]
Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 796-0267
320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :
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