Category Archives: words

Faux and its pronunciation

The other day I was having a phone conversation about having faux bricks on my living room wall, and mispronounced “faux”, phonetically pronouncing it with the au and x. I was corrected with — it is pronounced foo (where you here the f and the long oo), and I will admit, I do mispronounce words. I was taught phonics in school and I continue to go by the rules. So, I got to thinking about the word. Faux is French, a shortened version of faux pas, which is pronounced foo pass, in the American language, and the original meaning is a misstep in ballet.

Today, faux pas is shortened to faux and means fake or imitation. The one-word faux hasn’t been around that long in the American language but faux with other words have been around the English language since the 1600s. The single word — faux — originates from the 1980s, so I am cleared of that blunder, or what is the equivalent of today’s French meaning of faux pas as being a social blunder.

I also learned something about that -aux pronunciation. Or so I think I have learned. Of course, I am sure there are exceptions to what I think I know or have learned.  I looked at words that started with aux-, such as auxiliary or auxotroph, and then the -aux is pronounced how I would phonetically pronounce it — as au and the x — auxiliary.

Now, put the -aux behind a letter or letters, and the aux is pronounced as the long oo — faux, beaux (that’s plural for beau and both are pronounced the same — as boo — long oo –, to which is not to be confused with boo!, the ew you hear when you want to scare someone — boo!), or maybe there is a little Bordeaux with dinner tonight. Bordeaux, that southwestern French region that produces the wonderful wine with its same name, and the aux is pronounced with that long oo.

Confused yet?

While I am on this subject, let’s back up to auxotroph — finally, the -aux is pronounced phonetically,  au and x. So, continue with the word and the troph is pronounced traf. That famouns ph pronounced as f.

There is phone, phooey, and phew! (all ph es pronounced as an f). Some people think that phew also means that unpleasant odor. Nope. That is spelled pew and you hear the p with ew, rhymes with few, where the word can mean a long bench in church as well as an unpleasant odor — but then, we Americans just might say p u (pee- ew — stinky) but if you put a forward slash between the p and u p/u  simply means to pick up.

What do I say about all this — only one word comes to mind — Phew! this is a relief. Or — is it Whew!!! Oh, nevermind. Our words have so many different meanings, our words are pronounced different ways, and now someone has told me about Spanglish and Franglish. It’s never ending…. I am sure I will be corrected my entire life….

Until next time…have a great day…

 

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Filed under figurative expression, pronunciations, Uncategorized, words

At Wit’s End

It is no secret that I have been working on the interior of my book for quite some time now. Actually, I started the process in January and was progressing at a nice clip when I hit a real snag. I did not know what was wrong when I converted it to CreateSpace, but it was not working. I had tried it at least eight times by then, and I was beginning to feel either stupid or frustrated. I chose the latter over the former. Frustrated. Real frustrated.

But, I endured. I continued to format the interior over and over, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

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Yes, I did want to pull out my hair. I felt like this most moments of each day. What was I doing wrong. I was at my wit’s end. I had reached my limits — emotionally, intellectually — but I was not going to give in. I am bigger than a computer program.

It was my artist for the cover of the book who took me down the road for the remedy to my problem. She introduced me to a computer learning tool — Lynda.com — that taught me how to solve the formatting problems I was encountering, so in the middle of everything, I took about a week to learn everything I could. Now mind you, my frustration level is still high.Huge. I am determined to learn this.

On Wednesday, with knowledge in hand (that’s right, lots of notes) and a frustrated but clear mind, I tried it once again. After eight hours, becoming down right frazzled after the frustration could not be felt any longer, I pushed the button to convert to CreateSpace. I did it. I did it. I did it.

Now, you realize, I have written the book, I have edited it more than once, I have found another editor, readers, a cover artist, and now I formatted the book. Hey, folks, I am in business.

Before I tell you how I feel now, I need to write a bit about this idiom. Actually, it is based on the meaning of the word, and I am going to give you a tip. When you use the apostrophe (wit’s) you are speaking about the frustration level. But, when you forget to use the apostrophe (wits) you are speaking about sanity. Maybe after a long time of feeling the frustration, the wit’s end, I could lose my wits, but I’ll stick with wit’s for now.

And now that the process is over and the days on end of trying to succeed with this small task is successfully completed, I feel like….

hippopotamus-relaxing

Hey, have a great one….

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