Tuesday, November 12, 2019

In Praise of Clear Pronunciation

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It fits in to a discussion about language predictability. Most of us never use the word sow and when hearing that sentence would not have thought of it. One might say that a reporter who is interviewing someone about pigs should be more ready to bring it to mind, but putting myself in his shoes, I still might not be looking for "sows." People who work with pigs all the time, of course, would be quite ready for that word and would not make the mistake the reporter did.

But it brings up another qualifier: when one gets into ridiculous numbers, like imagining a river full of 30,000 pigs, the brain should step back and go "Huh? Did I hear that right? That can't be right. Do we really have that many pigs out here on a single farm?" What gets interesting is guessing what the pivot point should be. 300? 3000? At what place should the brain rebel against what it has heard and seek alternatives?