Monday, November 24, 2008

A Re-Christening

I think I'd rather call it a 're-inauguration' since there won't be any actual Christening, and I hate to bother Christ about such a trifling matter --he must have enough on his plate already, what with the Rapture coming up and everything.

Also, calling it a re-inauguration let's me bring up a variation in pronunciation (I still want that word to have another 'o' in it . . .) that I've been hearing, our new president having a inauguration on the horizon: I say, and prefer to hear, in-og-you-rayshun --with a couple of stresses somewhere, but that's beside my point; but I've heard three or four people on the TV say in-ogger-ayshun. What's up with that?

I can appreciate that leaving out the added 'y' sound calls attention to the word's origin in augury, specifically haruspicy, the telling of fortunes through the inspection of sacrificed bird entrails --I mean, who wants to gloss over words that arise from bird entrails?-- but, isn't it harder to say that way? Doesn't it become a mushy mumble that could easily be firmed up by putting the 'y' in there, like I --the ultimate arbiter of all taste and propriety-- do?

Well, let's check the dictionaries . . .

AHD4 doesn't list the 'ogger' variant-- so, take that, all you Augurists! But it also reveals that I was bullshitting you (again) about the haruspicy: 'auspices' is the common word that arose from bird guts; inauguration's root 'augury' just refers to divination in general, gutless and birdless though it may be. But! NOAD2 lists the 'y' as optional, and indicates that the variants occur with equal frequency, if I'm reading it right. So it looks like AHD4 missed something when it recorded this pronunciation, and failed to record the other. I'm gonna write a letter to President Obama! After the inauguration, of course.

Anyway, I changed the name of the blog, in case you didn't notice.

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