The Word Guy / Knowledge

Giving Letters the Silent Treatment

Should you pronounce the "t" in "often"? The "l" in "almond"? Though "often" was pronounced with a "t" sound until the 1600s, doing so today conveys a whiff of pretension.

Traditionally, the "l" in "almond" was silent (AH-mund), but recently ...

Extra! Extra! Headlines Take Headers!

Readers often send me collections of funny headlines, but I don't use them in my column because I can't verify their authenticity. But when a reader recently sent me photographs of actual headlines as they appeared in newspapers, I decided to ...

Peevish Readers Grow 'Pet'ulant

Every once in a while, I ask my readers to unleash their pet peeves -- a snarling collection of gripes, groans and grimaces at the abuse of English.

Perhaps you'll recognize one of your own peevish pets.

Oren Spiegler of Upper St. Clair, Pa., ...