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Where? (aka, Who me?)
You might be surprised.
Don’t you wanna know?
Seriously, though …
There’s quite a queue of words that we’re likely to mispronounce on any given day.
(A sandwich spread or a prodigal poet—you might mispronounce and not even know it.)
Persnickety, you say?
Although you should know that it’s technically pernickety.
Well, it is.
Anyway, if you want to feel just a little bit smarter than you did when you woke up this morning, here’s an easy means to that end:
Don’t say: a-FLU-ent
Do say: AFF-lu-ent
Well, just watch:
Don’t say: mannaize
Do say: MAY-o-naize
Don’t say: minichur
Do say: miniachur (yup – the short “a” sound should be heard)
Don’t say: pottable
Do say: potable (long “o” is the way to go)
Don’t say: pre-STEE-jus
Do say: pre-STI-jus (short “i”)
Don’t say: respite (rhymes with despite)
Do say: respit
Seuss (as in, the good doctor of children’s literature)
Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, adopted his pen name from his German mother’s maiden name, which was properly pronounced in the native tongue as “Soice” (rhymes with voice). But, the American inclination to say “Soose” stuck, and Geisel gave in, realizing that it was potentially profitable to rhyme with another famous name in children’s lit—Mother Goose.
Don’t say: silicone
Do say: silicon
The (nope, not kidding)
Technically speaking, there are some instances when one should say “thuh” and others when this word’s pronunciation should be “thee.” According to Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, pronunciation of “the” depends on how you pronounce the word that follows it. If the following word begins with a consonant sound, you say “thuh” (as in, “thuh” farmhouse). But if the following word starts with a vowel sound, you say “thee” (as in, “thee” egg).
Thee egg and me, prestigious. Pass the mayo please.
The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,399 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,095 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
For this week’s Make It Easy/Candlemaking Expert Level Merit Badge, I got to channel my inner pioneer girl. Actually, she’s not very inner: she rises to the top at frequent occasions.
Maybe it’s a childhood filled with all the Little House books,
maybe it’s my love affair with frilly and functional aprons,
maybe it’s the fact that I crave a pony and the wind in my hair …
uh, where was I? Right, candlemaking.
I can see me now … in my ruffled nightgown, holding my candle high, as I feed the hogs and bake my own bread … Okay, okay, back to reality (and indoor plumbing; can I get an amen?).
I had already made my own candles—tea lights and Mason jar ones—but now I got to really go all Early Americana, and try my hand at making taper candles. You know the ones: long and skinny and super old-fashioned looking.
I just know Ma Ingalls probably made enough of these to burn down Plum Creek (had she ever wanted to). And the fun part of this badge requirement was getting to share the experience with a friend (no, not Nellie, I chose Midge … far less persnickety and hardly ever bratty).
What we used to make our delicious smelling beeswax tapers:
You could also add in some scent or color, but honestly, I was going by my new mantra WWMID? (What Would Ma Ingalls Do?)
I couldn’t picture her burning anything less than golden-colored, sweet, honey-scented tapers. A lime green, gardenia scented one? Nah. But if you’re more the WWBD? type (What Would Beyonce Do?) then add in some extra oomph.
It took a while—and lots and lots of dipping—to get a nice, chunky taper shape, so we filled the silences with my musings of living off the grid, homestead style. Midge was skeptical that I could go longer than a week without Internet and bubble baths, but I don’t know … that inner pioneer girl inside me is crying to get out!
Sometimes she pipes down when there’s a Sherlock marathon on Netflix though, so maybe she’s confused.
After our tapers were finished and hanging upside down from my kitchen pot rack, we traipsed into town (NOT on a pony. Drat.) and went shopping for store-bought candles. This is part of the badge earning, peeps. Don’t fret. We needed to learn what our fellow townspeople were burning and buying, and just how often toxins were being released as a result. The results? Shocking, I tell you. Petroleum, parabens, paraffin, dyes, and not to mention, nasty fake scents that gave me instant headaches. I wanted to replace all the candles in the stores with my own homemade tapers, but Midge assured me that wasn’t exactly appropriate. Or legal. Legal Smegal!
WWMID? Well, I suppose she would make a few more as gifts and calmly and lovingly encourage those around her to make the switch.
Now. Where’s my pony?
Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)
Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)
My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Joanna Green!!!
Joanna Green (Joanna, #5965) has received a certificate of achievement in Stitching & Crafting for earning a Beginner Level Buttoned Up Merit Badge!
“I have had buttons laying around and stuffed in many places for awhile, but I thought it was time to gather them all together in one place. Some of them are from my great-aunt, some from my mom, and some I have collected on my own.
I counted a total of 95 buttons and hope to add more. I decided to make a box to put them in and had a lot of fun doing it! I just covered a cardboard box with fabric and added some details.”
The profusion of roadway ruts left in the wake of the Northeast’s harsh winter weather perturbed many a New Yorker this spring. But, instead of simply swearing and swerving around the holes, Schenectady resident Elaine Santore decided to take action and fill them herself.
This go-getter gal didn’t use asphalt.
She packed at least 10 local potholes with potting soil and—(how farmgirl is this?)—flowers!
Pansies, to be precise.
“I’m not an avid gardener … but I do like to put things in the ground. It’s spring, and I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time,” Santore told Modern Farmer. “You could go down and complain at city hall. You could walk around with a picket and protest. There are other reasons to need to do that, much bigger issues. But something like this is just a simple no-harm way of getting the point across.”
She knew her little gardens wouldn’t last (most have now been restored to blacktop by the city), but she planted them anyway. The point, ultimately, was to move others with a simple gesture of gentleness.
“And I think it worked because people reacted to it,” she said. “I’m touched that people took notice and that I was able to draw attention to something that needs to be addressed in a kind way. With a little ingenuity, you can do something small and make a big difference.”