Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 10:13:50 EDT From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: Pronounciation of Oxymoron -Reply Donald Lance just wrote: >People who say 'nucular' also tend to say 'relator' for 'realtor' and >several others that I can't remember at the moment. They also tend to >misspell these words. The -er seems to be a factor in the phonotactics. >I'm sure I've also heard 'nuculus'. DMLance Is the former claim one there's any empirical evidence for? I tend to think each of these tendencies (along with others--I have always said 'jewlery' for 'jewelry' but don't do any of the aforementioned bits) goes its own way and has its own constituency. My impression is that mine (jew-le-ry) is (of course) more common than 'nucular', which in turn is more frequent than 'feb-u-ary', which in turn is heard more often than 'liberry'. I'm not sure where 'relator' (for 'realtor') fits in, but I think there may be a number of different factors responsible for the variation in these forms, including phonological and phonetic tendencies (ease of articulation, least effort, whatever), analogizing (see my line on 'nucular'), and variation in underlying form (which would be supported by Don's point about the variant spellings). Larry