I need to hear each and every candidate say the word nuclear.
Even after seven years I still find it hard to believe that our President--a man who graduated from Yale and attended Harvard Business school, a man for whom English is his first language--is incapable of correctly pronouncing this word.
It might interest you to know that as an undergrad, I very narrowly passed a college Linguistics course. Thus am I in a position to know that this mangling of language, if you care, is referred to as metathesis. For the layperson, it's that adorable thing tiny children do when they pronounce spaghetti as pasghetti. It's cute when you're four; not so much if you're the leader of the free world.
And because he's the leader of the free world, he has advisers--people he pays to make sure he doesn't make a mistake that makes him look like a doofus. Don't you suppose that those people are whispering into his ear, every time he steps behind the podium? "Now try to remember, Mr. President--the word is nuclear. New-clee-ur."
So for a long time I was convinced that he was not a very smart apple--that he just could not be taught. But lately--and maybe it's just me--but sometimes I swear he's giving that offending syllable just a little more emphasis than he did five or six years ago. Like maybe he wants us to know that he's not stupid, dammit. He can say nuclear as well as the next guy.
He just doesn't want to.
photo, Steve Woods.