Friday, August 22, 2008

How to pronounce 'Often'

When I was a growing up, I was taught to pronounce often without the 't'. But, I keep hearing people pronounce it with a 't', so I decided to look it up.


Often AWF-in or AHF-in. Do not pronounce the t.

Before I give you my two cents on the t in often, let’s take a look at what various authorities have said about it since the late 18th century.

John Walker (1791), whose Critical Pronouncing Dictionary was one of the most respected and popular references both in England and America well into the 19th century, declared that “in often and soften the t is silent.”

“The sounding of the t,” proclaims the legendary H.W. Fowler in Modern English Usage (1926), “which as the OED says is ‘not recognized by the dictionaries,’ is practised by two oddly consorted classes—the academic speakers who affect a more precise enunciation than their neighbours…& the uneasy half-literates who like to prove that they can spell….”

“The t in glisten is silent, even as it is in castle and often,” says Frank H. Vizetelly (1929), editor of Funk & Wagnalls New Standard (1913), “yet one occasionally hears pedants and provincials pronounce them [GLIS-ten] and [AWF-ten]. No pronouncing dictionary with a reputation to lose ever sounds the t in these words.”

“You don’t want a t in here any more than in soften,” advises Alfred H. Holt (1937).

Webster 2 (1934), which sanctions only AWF-in, notes that “the pronunciation [AWF-tin], until recently generally considered as more or less illiterate, is not uncommon among the educated in some sections, and is often used in singing.”

According to Random House II (1987),

OFTEN was pronounced with a t- sound until the 17th century, when a pronunciation without the (t) came to predominate in the speech of the educated, in both North America and Great Britain, and the earlier pronunciation fell into disfavor. Common use of a spelling pronunciation has since restored the (t) for many speakers, and today [AWF-in] and [AWF-tin]…exist side by side. Although it is still sometimes criticized, OFTEN with a (t) is now so widely heard from educated speakers that it has become fully standard once again.

“Nowadays,” says R.W. Burchfield (1996), editor of the OED 2 (1989), “many standard speakers use both [AWF-in] and [AWF-tin], but the former pronunciation is the more common of the two.

What is going on here? After two hundred years of censure, has the t in often scratched and clawed its way back into acceptability? I would caution those who might be consoled by the comments of Random House II and Burchfield to heed the admonitions of the past and avoid pronouncing the t. Current dictionaries, including Random House II, do not give priority to AWF-tin, and it is much less common in educated speech and far more often disapproved of by cultivated speakers—particularly teachers of English, drama, and speech—than Random House II makes it appear. In 1932 the English lexicographer Henry Cecil Wyld called AWF-tin “vulgar” and “sham-refined,” and today the bad odor of class-conscious affectation still clings to it as persistently as ever. As if that were not enough, analogy is entirely unsupportive: no one pronounces the t in soften, listen, fasten, moisten, hasten, chaste, christen, and Christmas—so, once and for all, let’s do away with the eccentric AWF-tin.

Jumping for Joy

Why do people jump, hop, bounce continuously when they are excited or happy? Especially in sporting events, when someone wins, especially the home team, the whole place is jumping up and down. Why is that?

Is it contagious to jump for joy when someone else is or is it how the body works?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Passion for Photos

Ever since I was a child, I had an affinity towards the camera. I remember being given my first camera at 9 years old. It was a Blue Kodak camera that used 110 film. (Those little cartridges were so cool) I used to shoot anything and everything and they usually turned out pretty bad.

As I grew older, I used 35mm point and shoot cameras. I would mostly take pictures of people and scenery. Again, most of the pictures were not very good. Then in college, I bought into the APS film craze. It was fun taking panoramic photographs. But, they were so hard to put in any standard photo album. This is probably when I really started to enjoy taking scenic photography.

I've never used an SLR or DSLR camera before and photography terms such as aperture and f-stops were a foreign language to me. Then, I was required to take a Photography course at my job and this opened up a whole new world to me. I decided to buy a point and shoot camera with manual capabilities for my own use, just to get my feet wet and practice. I would also borrow the DSLR camera at my work to hone my skills more.

But, what is it about photography that drew me towards it? I think one factor, is my love of traveling and sight-seeing. I wanted to capture these beautiful moments on film, to always remember them by. By understanding photography better, I can make these images even more powerful and bring back those memories to life.

I love to photograph buildings and architecture, especially with strong lines and curves. Now, the only time I photograph people is at family parties or social functions.

By no means, do I consider myself a photographer. I just love to take pictures. I love to learn all about photography and how to better my photographs.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Waking Up

Why is it that I have no trouble waking up early on weekends or on vacation? But, if I have to wake up for work, I feel like I can't open my eyes and my body feels like a ton of bricks...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Toilet Paper Changer

I feel like that should be my job title. No matter where I go, I am changing someone's toilet paper. I feel like I am drawn to bathrooms with holders containing cylindrical cardboard with traces of toilet paper stuck to it. It comes to a point where I walk into someone's bathroom and cringe before I look at the toilet paper holder. Will I see:


This is especially irritating when I have to go to the bathroom really bad, only to jump around doing the pee-pee dance while looking for where the extra toilet paper is stored.

Another thing that irks me is not only seeing an empty roll on the toilet, but seeing a full roll sitting nearby. How lazy must a person be to not take 2 seconds of their life to remove the empty roll and put the new roll in? You're already sitting on the toilet with your hands free. Multi-task.

I admit, if the current roll that is on the holder is close to being finished, but is not empty, I will take out a full roll and place it nearby so that the next person will have access to a full roll. I am assuming that the next person will also change the roll. Obviously, since I have been in many situations where empty roll and full roll co-exist together, the person is not taking it upon themselves to be considerate.

Should I stop being considerate to the next person and quit putting out full rolls since they are not being considerate to me?

And maybe I should take toilet paper from a full roll and then put it back in the closet or wherever it is kept, leaving the next person to change the roll...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Google of the day: Portmanteau

While catching up on one of my favorite soap operas, As the World Turns, I noticed that my favorite character/actress on the show, Lily Walsh Snyder, was being played by a different actress. I have been watching her on the show since 1985, so it was very shocking to see her being played by someone else. The show wouldn't be the same without her. Like another fan said, it's like Holden is cheating on Lily, with Lily!

This started my quest of searching what happened and why she was replaced. This led me to search for Lily and Holden. In the article it said that "the couple is often referred by the portmanteau "Lilden" (for Lily and Holden)." Kinda like Bennifer, Brangelina and TomKat.

I never knew there was a term for a combination name. I always referred to it as a "combo name". "Portmanteau" sounds so much more sophisticated... and a bit snobbish.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Google of the Day: baseball necklaces

I guess I'm a bit slow. But, I've been noticing that many baseball players have been wearing this necklace around their neck that looks like a noose or a knot. I really didn't think anything of it. Until yesterday (Mother's Day), when many of the players wore pink necklaces (Breast Cancer Awareness). All along, I just thought that it was just a piece of rope jewelry that was trendy amongst the players. Or that it was a tribute of some kind, like the ribbons they wear sometimes.

So, the necklaces are Phiten Titanium Necklace and actually have a purpose. It seems similar to magnetic jewelry. Apparently, it's been around for the past 3 years.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Why does rain make you tired?

I knew it was going to rain today because that's what the weather man said. But, as I hit the snooze button a few more times to catch more Z's, my body knew that it was raining outside even before I opened my eyes. Why is that? I always find that I am more lethargic when it rains, that I get up later and it is much harder to open my eyes and get out of bed.

Could it be the soothing sounds of rain drops? Or the darkness that the clouds overhead cast?
What causes this sleepiness spell?

So, I googled this phenomenon and here are some answers that made sense:


The pressure changes when it is raining, for example thats how a barometer works. The changed pressure makes you sleepy. This is true, because even if its just about to rain, you are still sleepy.


sunshine lifts the mood and its effect on the body promotes the production of endorphins , and that makes you happy
Sunlight is needed to produce Vitamin D3 and it also produces Melanin. Also it's like how you get cold when your tired at night.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Google of the Day: Harry Carry

I heard someone say "He committed Harry Carry". What does that mean?

The first hit on Google was Harry Caray, a baseball player. That wouldn't really make sense.

The only thing I could find was on Urban Dictionary:

to commit suicide (from the Japanesse expression to slice oneself open with a ritual sword. A gross simplification of the actual Japanesse expression.) Example: see the film "Harold and Maude" for an excellent demonstration by the main character, out of context

1)That guy from Brooklyn committed Harry Carry when his wife left him.

2)It was Harry Carry time when his business when under.

3)Those Japs would commit Harry Carry instead of surrendering in WWII, thinking it was a more honorable death.

So, there's my answer... Harry Carry? Why not just say "He committed suicide"?