A few tweaks let you use spelled pronunciation from dictionary.com – http://bit.ly/soundznotbad – for plain text.

For Twitter, use http://bit.ly/soundznotbad but change bold to CAPS, [uh] to [u], ITAL to ROM: [th] to [dh], [oo] to [uu], [uh] to [uh].

If there is a stress on more than one syllable in a word, mark the primary stress with a leading tick (apostrophe). End sentences with a double period.[1]

MEY-bi dhis ig-ZAHM-puhl ov speld pruh-NUN-see-‘EY-shuhn wil wurk uhz uhn EYD-mem-‘WAHR.. it in-KLOODz mohst IN-stuhns-iz hwair wun kuud fahynd PROB-luhmz in ri-KAWL-ing dhee un-YOO-zhoo-uhl LET-uhr SEE-kwuhns-iz em-PLOID.. yoo JEN-er-uh-lee haf tuu heer dhuhm red uh-LOUD uh-GEN uhnd uh-GEN fer dhuhm tuh bi seen uhn hurd az SEK-uhnd NEY-cher..

[1] Sentences now end with a single open (spaced) period. 10/02/10
* * *

The text at a recent recording session included the following words, shown here with the pronunciation used:

venue … VEN-yoo
research … ri-SURCH
resource … REE-zawrs
laboratory … LAB-ruh-tawr-ee
project (n) … PROJ-ekt
status … STEY-tuhs
composite (n & adj) … kuhm-POZ-it
privacy … AmE: PRAHY-vuh-see; BrE: PRI-vuh-see



Words read today – and how read – shown with spelled pronunciation:

Marlboro … MAHRL-buhr-oh
cigarette … sig-uh-RET
Americana … uh-mer-i-KAH-nuh
anomie … AN-uh-mee
overleveraged … OH-vuhr-’LEV-er-ijd
Susan Lucci … SOO-zuhn LOO-chee
garishness … GAIR-ish-nes
amenities … uh-MEN-i-tiz

There is an audio clip of these words on Posterous.



Words from today – shown with spelled pronunciation:

pariah [puh-RAHY-uh] rhymes with messiah [muh-SAHY-uh]: “des-PAHY-zed and ri-JEK-ted ov men” —Handel et al.

http://www.google.ca/search?q=“despised and rejected of men”



Words from today:

deprecate/depreciate … deprecate=downplay, disapprove of; depreciate=lower appraised value of;


Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation … want crops without plowing up the ground. —Frederick Douglass

This looks like the real thing:

http://www.blackpast.org/?q=1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress [short URL:] http://bit.ly/aDbZ86

The deprecate/depreciate substitution is widespread in this Frederick Douglass quote:

http://www.google.ca/search?q=“yet deprecate agitation”

http://www.google.ca/search?q=“yet depreciate agitation”

MW11 on the two words:





http://txtb.in/n8k [link to text on txtbin website copied below – with links embedded]

September 26, 2010

Want to stash some text out there and link to it later?

The txtbin website you are on right now lets anyone post text of any length, and it returns a short URL for that text.

There are four Terms and Conditions: http://txtb.in/toc.php

Also — no surprise — text posted on the txtbin website is not exactly private. Further caution: no undo or delete. Like it or not, what you write may be immortal.

Its possible immortality notwithstanding, your post may not last forever. Keep a copy elsewhere if you care about it.

George Atherton

Twitter Profile: http://twitter.com/notrehta

Tip: If a block of text includes more than one or two URLs, copy and paste it into URL-aware software — a text editor, word processor or whatever — and read it from there.



Words from today – shown with spelled pronunciation:

miscellany … AmE: ’MIS-uh-LEY-nee; BrE: mi-SEL-uh-ni
Chile … CHI-lee
Iran … i-RAHN
Solidarnosc … sol-i-DAHR-nawsht
despoliation … di-SPOHL-i-’EY-shuhn
Assange … uh-SAHNJ




You can easily adapt the spelled pronunciation notation used by dictionary.com so that you can use something very like it in handwritten or plain text notes … or anywhere else where it would be awkward to represent bold or italic font.

The required changes and extensions were tersely logged on September 19, 2010.

The adapted system is described below, with examples for everything in it.

The letters c, q and x are not used, except for a single case: The letter c, paired with the letter h, represents the ch sound, as in church [church].

The letter y – not used at all as a vowel – and the remaining individual consonant letters stand for their usual sounds in English and for only one sound per letter … except for the additional contributions of eight of them to the sounds of the special letter combinations set in bold on this page.

The special letter combinations ey ee ahy oh yoo stand only for the sounds made when reciting the letters a e i o u. But these five letters themselves stand for only the short vowel sounds in pat pet pit pot putt.

The combinations ah ahr ur awr oi ou uu stand for only the vowel sounds in pa barn bird born boy now put [pah bahrn burd bawrn boi nou puut].

The set of all special letter combinations is completed with the nine below. These are needed to spell out how all of the text in the paragraph that follows them could sound. The spelled pronunciation version of that text includes examples of how stressed syllables and periods are marked.

dh uh ng air aw hw eer zh er

That wraps the whole thing up. There’s not much more to say about this notation for spelled pronunciation for now, while I still have your eyes and ears. Please let me know if you see anything unusual that could be a game-changer. Thanks.

[dhat raps dhuh hohl thing up . dhairz not much mawr tuh sey uh-BOUT dhis noh-TEY-shuhn fawr speld pruh-NUN-see-’EY-shuhn fawr nou, hwahyl ahy stil hav yawr ahyz uhnd eerz . pleez let me noh if yoo see EN-ee-thing un-YOO-zhoo-uhl dhat kuud bee uh ’GEYM-CHEYN-jer . thangks .]



making Blackbird Pie work – sort of – on WordPress.com

Note: This is much more painstaking than the straight copy and paste that works for WordPress.org software. If you know a better way, please tell. Thanks.

Copy less than half of what Blackbird Pie returns: Ignore everything before start of tweet body text. Delete all HTML except for image and link tags. Delete embedded link that shows how tweet was posted. Add style and align attributes – style='margin:0 15px 10px 0;' align='left' – after src attribute in image tag. Edit date link and place after Twitter handle. Make Twitter handle bold and delimit with spaces. Move body text to start on second line. End with horizontal rule.

Example tweet embedded in Spelled Pronunciation blog post:

George Atherton notrehta Thu Sep 02
Spelled Pronunciation Key: http://bit.ly/aIgYg7 but: CAPS for bold; [u] for [uh]; ROM for ITAL: [dh] for [th], [uu] for [oo], [uh] for [uh]

And another one, not from a blog post but very interesting:

Jon Winokur AdviceToWriters Sun Oct 10
This is Mark Twain: http://bit.ly/bZd6P2 #author #writing


words for the day:

basil [BAZ-uhl] … MW11
cilantro [si-LAN-troh] … MW11
process [PROH-ses] … n, adj, vt; MW11
process [pruh-SES] … vi; BrE; MW11



words [wurdz] for the day:

gigantism [jahy-‘GAN-TIZ-uhm]MW11
plenitude [PLEN-i-tyood]MW11
simulacrum [sim-yuh-LEY-kruhm]MW11

These words come up in Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn – in the first part of the second chapter (The Ecology of Mind). There is an audio version on Posterous.



words [wurdz] for the day:

aphelion [ap-HEE-lee-uhn]MW11
Byzantine [BIZ-uhn-teen]MW11
contrast n [KON-trast]MW11; AHD
contrast v [kuhn-TRAST]MW11; AHD
desuetude [DES-wi-tyood]MW11
diverse [dahy-VURS]MW11
eccentricity [EK-sen-‘TRI-si-tee]MW11
equinox [‘EEK-wuh-NOKS]MW11; AHD
Eratosthenes [ER-uh-‘TOS-thuh-NEEZ]MW11; AHD
exquisitely [EKS-wiz-it-lee]MW11
farther [FAHR-dher]MW11
kilometer [‘KIL-oh-MEE-ter]MW11; RHD; post
longitude [LON-ji-tyood]MW11; AHD
Mayan [MAHY-uhn]MW11
Metonic [me-TON-ik]RHD
perihelion [per-i-HEE-lee-uhn]MW11; AHD
proven [PROO-vuhn]MW11
Renaissance [‘REN-uh-SAHNS]MW11
Yankees [YANG-keez]MW11



words [wurdz] for the day:

cacophony [kuh-KOF-uh-nee]MW11
combatant [KOM-buh-tuhnt]MW11
machination [MAK-uh-‘NEY-shuhn]MW11
melancholia [MEL-an-‘KOH-lee-uh]MW11
mesmeric [mez-MER-ik]MW11
polysemic [pol-ee-SEE-mik]MW11
polysemous [puhl-IS-uh-muhs]MW11
polysemy [puhl-IS-uh-mee]MW11
proleptic [proh-LEP-tik]MW11



Filtered Google searches of New York Times content for

“all of a sudden”


“all of the sudden”

Here’s the filter:


And a short URL for the related blog post: http://wp.me/p10l7q-3Z


words [wurdz] for the day:

amoral [ey-MOR-uhl]MW11
apolitical [ey-puh-LIT-i-kuhl]MW11
epigone [EP-i-gohn]MW11
scant v [skant]MW11



words [wurdz] for the day:

apperceived [AP-uh-‘SEEVD]MW11
dynasty [DAHY-nuh-stee]MW11 BrE: [DI-nuh-stee]
eidetic [ahy-DET-ik]MW11
grandiloquent [GRAND-‘IL-uh-kwuhnt]MW11
sleight [slahyt]MW11
subsidence [suhb-SAHYD-ns]MW11



words [wurdz] for the day:

Asia [EY-shuh]MW11
biannual [bahy-AN-yoo-uhl]MW11
biennial [bahy-EN-ee-uhl]MW11
debris [DEY-bree]MW11 BrE: [DEB-ree]
dengue [DENG-gee]MW11
envelop [en-VEL-uhp]MW11
envelope [EN-vuh-lohp]MW11
Haiti [HEY-tee]MW11
Indonesia [IN-doh-‘NEE-zhuh]MW11
Micronesia [MAHY-kroh-‘NEE-zhuh]MW11
nihilism [NAHY-uh-liz-uhm]MW11
Nunavut [NOO-nuh-voot]MW11
pedunculate [pi-DUNG-kyuh-luht]MW11
sessile [SES-ahyl]MW11
substrate [SUB-streyt]MW11
tuxedo [tuk-SEE-doh]MW11