The word nuclear is pronounced "nu-clee-ur", NOT "nu-kew-lur." This is one of those things that many people do that really unreasonably pisses me off, not that any of you should care about that. I feel that the term is so critically important to our lives, especially when used in the context of nuclear weapons and nuclear war, that for gawdssakes people could at least make an effort to pronounce it correctly. It implies sloppiness to say it this way, and sloppiness is the last thing I want around this particular area of weapons technology.

How the heck did this start? My guess, uninformed though it might be, is that the use of the term nuke contributed...perhaps people thought (or just assumed) that it was a direct shortening of the word. I have to say, the most annoyed I've ever gotten at this is when I heard a commanding general of USSTRATCOM use the incorrect pronunciation in a speech, not once but around five times. If anyone should be able to get it right, it's him, damn it.

Please, please, all you people who have to talk to others about this topic during the course of your lives, and speak English, pronounce it correctly. There's no excuse, especially since there's no way to pronounce the properly-spelled word that way through phonetic error; you simply can't if the 'ell' comes right after the 'cee.'

Hooray! Somebody FINALLY caught the error and called me out on it! I guess someone does read carefully after know who you are.

Nu"cle*al (?), Nu"cle*ar (?), a.

Of or pertaining to a nucleus; as, the nuclear spindle (see Illust. of Karyokinesis) or the nuclear fibrils of a cell; the nuclear part of a comet, etc.


© Webster 1913.

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