Being in a relatively brain-dead mode here at the end of the year (my only excuse being a return from a mentally exhausting visit to Florida where I started a new job, shopped for and bought a house, videotaped my niece’s wedding and attended several large family gatherings), I am unable to come up with anything particularly interesting to write about as the last post of the first year of this blog. So I will finish 2006 with one of the countless unimportant things that regularly distract me from actual thought. Today’s example: the word “asks”, or any word that ends with “asks”. Why? It’s a short word, one vowel, technically one syllable, yet it is not possible to get that last “ks” sound out with adding another syllable. Say it. Repeat it. Slowly. As-kus. I hate that. Happy New Year.

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JC

Planetary Scientist and Asst. Professor of Physics at University of Central Florida; Movie Buff; Trekkie; Jethro Tull fanatic; part-time actor, piano player, writer; and full-time husband and father.

3 thoughts on “”

  1. Hmmm. I say it “ask-ss.” But that SKS combination can’t be said as one syllable because K is a stop. As soon as you move to the -S you’re really into another sound-producation stage – a fricative. S is unvoiced, however, so it’s not technically (as you note) a syllable. It’s just one of the wonders of English (and other languages, of course) – complex consonant clusters.

  2. You’re one of the coolest people on the planet. And since there aren’t many people on the other *grumblegrumble* seven planets, i’d say on all the planets in the solar system.

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