The Corner

A Proposed Trade

Challenged to wear a Redskins jersey, Fisher offered up this image: “Best I can do today.” (@HollyRFisher)

Toward the end of Impromptus today, I have an item on regional pronunciations — in particular, “nuke-yuh-lar” (sometimes rendered “nucular”). This is the way a lot of Americans pronounce “nuclear.” I heard it, from very intelligent people, recently. George W. Bush was derided for saying it, of course. Other presidents have said it, too — Eisenhower and Carter, for sure. (Carter, as you remember, served in the nuclear-sub program under Rickover.)

I wanted to share one letter with you. A reader writes, “When I was in college and doing my senior project in plasma physics, my thesis partner was a genuine prodigy. He ultimately got his Ph.D. at MIT in nuclear engineering, did a stint at CERN [the European Organization for Nuclear Research], etc. He always said ‘nucular.’ It was the big physics-department joke that he was going to be the world’s first nucular engineer.”

There have been many of them. For my part, I would gladly trade my standard pronunciation of “nuclear” for the MIT guy’s knowledge.

P.S. You know what one of the most frequently mispronounced words is? “Pronunciation.” People say “pronounciation” — daily. (Relatedly, one of the most frequently misspelled words is “misspell” — people like to leave out the second “s,” for savings, so to speak.) (Do you remember that ad? 1-800-MATTRES?)

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Science & Tech

Set NASA Free

The Trump administration has proposed shifting the International Space Station from a NASA-exclusive research facility to a semi-public, semi-private one. Its plan would nix all government funding for the ISS by 2025 and award at least $150 million per year to NASA to help with the transition. This would be a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More