Date: Sun, 10 Sep 1995 20:25:08 CDT From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: Pronounciation of Oxymoron -Reply Lotsa people say noo-cue-ler, but few say noo-key-er. Recently I noticed 'noo-cue-ler' in a 1950s film on the development of these "ultimate toys." A clip from the 1950s film was used in a TV documentary. When I was in the Army, in the Basic Officers Course in 1952-53 the major assigned to teach us about atomic energy referred to what was dropped on the Japanese cities as an "Adam bum." I think I've heard 'new-cue-ler' in British speech too. I don't think there was an "originator" of this pronunciation, as some postings have seemed to imply. There are some phonotactic rules at work here, not disfluencies or bad imitations of standard speech or unfortunate imitations of bad speech. The major taught us just the fundamentals of nuclear fission and fusion and consequences thereof. He had different medial consonants in these two words, as I do, and as spelling suggests (analogous to poisson and poison in French). It just occurred to me as I reread my text that Jimmy Carter probably says nyu- rather than noo- in 'new-key-er' (Southern pronunciation of 'new'/'nu-'). DMLance