Friday, February 17, 2012

Feburary, etc. (for February)

My extended family seems to have more members born in February, including me, than any other month of the year. And a new one was just added last week! February has the fewest days of all the months, although it probably has the most ways to misspell it. I've found at least four of them in OhioLINK so far and there are likely even more than that: Feburary (48), Febuary (37), Februray (18), and Februay (3). As a librarian, you should definitely know how to spell this word correctly, but don't feel too bad if you can't quite say it right. According to Wikipedia: "Many people pronounce ... [February] ... as if it were spelled 'Feb-u-ary'. This comes about by analogy with 'January' ... as well as by a dissimilation effect whereby having two r's close to each other causes one to change for ease of pronunciation. The Scots-language names for the month are Feberwary and Februar, the latter usually pronounced with a long 'ay' in the first syllable..." Aarrgh, too many R's are harrd to arrticulate. (Especially while having to say Brrr at the very same time.) But, like the (mythical) Father of Our Country, I can not tell a fib: February is a fabulous month, with four separate syllables (let's call 'em the Feb Four) that really are quite easy to enunciate if you just take your time. And, fortunately, it's spelled just like it sounds!

(Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 2, verso: February, from Wikipedia.)

Carol Reid

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