Friday, October 06, 2006

Eschew 'i-shoo'

I don't usually comment on pronunciation, but the 'eschew' issue has recently been brought to my attention by a language-savvy friend. Here's my two cents: the word eschew is properly pronounced "es-CHOO," not "i-SHOO," "e-SHOO," or any number of other variants. The popularity of the "shoe" pronunciations may be due to jocular remarks (such as "bless you") when the correct pronunciation is used. I advise that readers ignore the smart-alecks and stick with "chew" for the forseeable future.

For the record, the word means "to shun, avoid," usually for moral or practical reasons. One should eschew ne'er-do-wells, the practice of touching one's tongue to metal when it's cold outside, and the use of improper pronunciations of the word eschew.

And, following my usual practice of restraining my punning instinct, I'll avoid ending this post with the phrase "Chew on that!"