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A few sloppy (common) pronunciations: Tempeture Vetinarian Probly Comfterbul (this is the worst one, other than vetinarian)

And it's the one that's in dictionaries:
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?dict=A&key=***+0&ph=on

http://www.bartleby.com/61/30/C0503000.html
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=comfortable
As far as "coworker" is concerned, I saw a post once where the writer placed a hyphen in the word to avoid problems. She placed the hyphen between "cow" and "orker" accidentally.

Around here, we do it on purpose.
Youse guys are just gonna hafta learn that English as She is Spoke (and Wrote) differs greatly from your idealized conception of it. All sorts of things go on in the name of English that I don't like, but I face reality, and you should as well. For example, there's a very real difference between an evolving usage and an outright error even if sometimes it's hard to tell whether a former error has turned into an evolving usage. Hence the notion of the "skunked word" (which you might want to look for in Google Groups. (Shouldn't be too hard one of you posts through it.)
Much of what goes on here is disputation over where lines get drawn. The one thing to always be wary of(1) is an absolute statement that something is good or bad an error or a standard usage. Of all his annoying traits, UC's worst is his insistence that he alone has a pipeline to the truth. Don't fall into that trap.

Otherwise, it's lotsa fun around here. Enjoy.
(1) See what a virtuoso I am? a "split infinitive" and a trailing preposition in a single phrase.

Bob Lieblich
Fun guy (just ask me)
In another thread here, there was constant reference to the fact that certain words and phrases (usage of) were in common usage (or, words to that effect). There are many example of "common usage" of incorrect words and phrases. . . .

I feel we need to distinguish between commonly encountered errors and idiom. The sort of idiom that enshrines what would normally be simple error as acceptable is usually called "cast-iron idiom", signifying that using any but the received form is now the error. Some are just matters of quainterie(1): "Sure as eggs is eggs". Others are not: "Aren't I?"
(Not all cast-iron idioms are ungrammatical many are just oddities, such as our inability to greet co-workers at the start of a night shift with "Good night" as a parallel with "Good morning" at the start of a day shift.)
Whether this or that common error will evolve into cast-iron idiom seems to me a chancey thing: certain grammar errors have been very common for time out of mind yet have not become accepted forms.

In passing, I would say that while in example #3 "None are here right now" the singular would be preferred, there is no blinking that "none" can, at need (which is what is absent in that particular example), subsume the plural, no matter the original sense " no one".

The arguments against the singular "they" are certainly clear and well known (as exemplified at http://owlcroft.com/english/they.shtml ), but the school of thought that holds all usages to be inherently self-validating forever lobs bombs at them. That issue is practically the standard-bearer for modern descriptivism.
They are mistakes made by TV network writers and newspaper writers/editors. They are heard every day.

Virtually every usage manual ever written takes for its examples of incorrect forms quotations from what one would normally think of as the best and highest sources the whole point being that there is virtually no usage so foul that even careful users do not occasionally fall into it. (That is by no means to say that the common ruck of the news media are among the "best and highest"; but some of them are supposed to be.)
Because of this, I hate to hear someone say that if an incorrect grammar usage is made by "The Times, or The Examiner. etc., it must be "OK".

If one makes the argument that "sound English" is the sum of the forms generally used by infomed, careful writers and speakers, the opposing school of thought at once adduces a few examples of what most would call erroneous usages from this or that indubitably sound (in general) source and feels it has triumphantly exposed the "fallacy" of that definition of "sound English". But its argument relies wholly on the supposed assumption that good sources are perfect sources, a claim no one has ever made or ever would make. It is the very fact that virtually all of those sources would acknowledge the error as error were it pointed out to them that validates soundness so defined.
"Common usage" means, to me, that when I say something using proper English, the average person is thinking that I can't speak the language.

My own considerable experience is that no matter how poor a given person's ability to use English may be, that person will understand sound English with no trouble whatsoever, will readily recognize it as sound, and will feel no animus whatever toward the user. (Poor users usually also have small vocabularies, but not knowing this or that word is not the same as not being able to understand sound uses of known words.)
(1) Not in the OED of my coining, by analogy with "grotesquerie".
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Indeed, to my horror, nuke-U-lar is accepted. Homer Simpson has done this to us.

No, Joe. It's generally agreed that the pronounciation was invented, or at least popularized, by Eisenhower during his presidency. You can find many prior threads and much enlightenment by searching for "nucular."
If you want to have some fun, trace the etymology of "nuclear," then reflect on which pronunciation is etymologically correct. Here's a start:
http://www.bartleby.com/61/82/N0188200.html

Bob Lieblich
Who says New-clee-ur
My whole post is about "accepted" pronunciations. Common usage and ... future, real-a-tor and nu-cu-lar may turn up as accepted pronunciations.

Just as "Wensday" is today. Anyone who pronounces "Wednesday" so has no right to criticise other people's pronunciation.

Not to mention "often" and "interesting"? Ever hear anyone pronounce the latter with four full syllables?

Robbie
Indeed, to my horror, nuke-U-lar is accepted. Homer Simpson has done this to us.

No, Joe. It's generally agreed that the pronounciation was invented, or at least popularized, by Eisenhower during his presidency. You ... have some fun, trace the etymology of "nuclear," then reflect on which pronunciation is etymologically correct. Here's a start: http://www.bartleby.com/61/82/N0188200.html

Bob, I trust that you are correct, but given the impact TV has on us, I tend toward believing there's a difference between etymological first citations and the cause for such pronunciations permeating the language. I'd have blamed Bush, but Homer's ratings have always been higher. JOE
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Not to mention "often" and "interesting"? Ever hear anyone pronounce the latter with four full syllables?

You never watched "Laugh In"? Arte Johnson?

Tony Cooper
Orlando, FL
There are many example of "common usage" of incorrect words and phrases. I'll try to point out two or three:.. Am I wrong on any of the above?

Yes.
All of the above?

Yes and no.
WTF is going on here?

Change.
Is Feb-RU-ary really Feb-U-ary now?

Yes, some places.
"Common usage" means, to me, that when I say something using proper English, the average person is thinking that I can't speak the language.

Get used to it.
RY
In another thread here, there was constant reference to the fact that certain words and phrases (usage of) were in ... should have been "What did he, or she want?", but the usage of that disgraceful poor grammar is "common usage".

Nothing wrong with it. See M-W Dictionary of English Usage.
2) There is a TV commercial in the U.S., for an optical supplier, that says "In the future, everyone will ... the statement would have been "protect his eyes...". Now, we would say "protect his, or her eyes.." (I would think.)

"They" is perfectly all right. See M-W Dictionary of English Usage.
3) The receptionist at your company answers the phone and the caller wants to speak with a salesman. The salesmen are all out making sales calls. She says "None are here right now." I would have said "none IS here right now".

Perfectly okay. See M-W Dictionary of English Usage.
There are many examples of this. They are mistakes made by TV network writers and newspaper writers/editors. They are heard ... here? Is Feb-RU-ary really Feb-U-ary now? Why was it Feb-RU-ary when I was a child in the 40's and 50's?

Language changes. Some people say forrid and some say forehead. Sometimes more than one usage can be correct.
"Common usage" means, to me, that when I say something using proper English, the average person is thinking that I can't speak the language.

Could you rewrite this? The meaning is obscure to me.

I think you're saying that if you use any of the usages you describe, you will be heard as non-standard or uneducated. Is that what you meant?
Jack (Texan removed from the language of my Kent ancestors since 1660)

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Nicely written. The only thing I would take issue with is

guess what?
I'm a known descriptivist.
Aren't I?

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
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