First, I came home from belly dance class to Aaron live-blogging Canadian election results.
Second, we solved a Facebook argument using "Gardner's Modern American Usage". All parties in this argument/discussion were wrong -- there is an acceptable pronunciation in American English. Here is my paraphrase of what we learned:
If you don't know how to pronounce a word not commonly used in American English (e.g. the name of a country in the Middle East):
- Find the smartest person you know. Pronounce the word how they do. The "educated" pronunciation (not to be confused with the "pretentious asshole" pronunciation -- see below) is the correct one.
- Alternatively, you should try to pronounce the word as close to the original language, but using English phonemes.
- Don't use non-English phonemes or overly affected pronunciations -- you sound like a pretentious asshole. E.g. don't roll your Rs.
- Don't use chauvinistic pronunciations -- you sound like a regular asshole.
- Example: Iran - /i-rahn/ not /I-ran/ or /i-ran/
"Aaron has 450 books in his backlog. He reads an average of 50 books per 4 month period. He acquires an average of 20 books per 4 month period. How long will it take Aaron to read all the books in his house?"
The answer: 5 years.