COLUMN: Senior Moment with Barry ZeVan: February

Updated: 02/05/2013 9:57 AM KSTP.com By: Barry ZeVan

In this week’s column from Barry ZeVan, he gives his “Senior Moment” on February:

At age 75, I’m having another senior moment, and here it is:

We've finally made it to the month of February, once again. Also, once again, it's time to go into my annual rant about the mis-pronunciation of the name of this month by so many people.

To me, the most egregious offenders are too many in the electronic news media who still say "feb-yew-ary". From first grade onward, which for me began in 1943, our teachers drummed into our heads the correct pronunciation of this month's identification as feb-roo-ary, which, of course, it is.

They would almost boil over emotionally when hearing any of us mis-pronounce it. too bad, in my opinion, that sort of grammarian discipline obviously didn't survive these seven decades. Even some television network anchors and reporters are guilty of this momentous grammatical offense.

Obviously, my monumental protestations are stated tongue-in-cheek regarding the importance of the subject, but to those of us who think the English language should definitely be spoken correctly by those who professionally communicate to the public, and are, subliminal educators, they should definitely say everything correctly.

Another common mispronunciation is the word "route", pronounced "root". It's one of those French words, like restaurant, that never changed pronunciation when it skipped across the Atlantic pond.  When I hear broadcasters say "rowt" instead of "root" when referring to a road, it makes me want to throw a brick through the TV set or radio.

A great example of why it's "root" is Nat King Cole's great 1950's song hit, "route 66", again pronounced "root"! A rout (pronounced rowt) means a decisive victory. A score of 99 to nothing in a basketball game would be a rout, with no e at the end of the spelling. Grrrr!

That ends this rant, for which I state thanks for reading, thinking and sharing in this senior moment. Was I supposed to write all that? Senior moment! Oh, just kidding, just kidding! See you next time.

Barry ZeVan is a columnist for KSTP.com.