Issue 190, page 3

Search Home FAQ Links Site map Book Store

BackIssues

New Ask Us Theory About

curmdgeon.GIF (1254 bytes) Curmudgeons' Corner

Guestmudgeon Dick Timberlake will zeroscape YOU if you don't pronounce xeriscape correctly!

Here in Colorado Springs our utility "company" (i.e., armed arm of the city government, which can fine you for watering at the wrong time) encourages xeriscaping. They would like us to grow only plants that use little water, because they are bureaucrats and don't want to provide us citizens with the water we demand. (Slap!) (Ow!) (Richard, stick to the point and stop the political diatribe!) (Oh, all right, Dick!) Ahem, excuse me, just a couple of my personalities arguing. To the point.

Alas, the populace here generally pronounces xeriscape"as "zeroscape", with the "o" clearly articulated, not a schwa. I suppose that a xeriscaped area has little or nothing growing on it, hence the confusion with zero. But it still drives me (and all of my personalities) quite nuts (or perhaps nuttier). 

The word, folks, is XERISCAPE, the xeri- part from the Greek meaning "dry". It has nothing to do with zero (which is not Greek to me or anybody, but from Arabic). There is no "o" in the spelling, and none in the pronunciation. Please help all of us keep our sanity by eschewing "zeroscape"! Thank you.

Your friends,

Dick Timberlake

Have you heard or read similar or equally distressing usages?

Do tell us. 

Read this before commenting on this week's Curmudgeons' Corner

Do you enjoy reading Take Our Word For It?  Then help us out with a donation.  It's easy, and you can pay via credit card.  Just click the button. 

PREVIOUS  |  NEXT

Comments, additions? Send to Melanie & Mike: melmike@takeourword.com
DO NOT SEND QUERIES TO THAT ADDRESS.  Instead, ASK US.
Copyright 1995-
2003 TIERE
Last Updated 01/08/06 02:00 PM