Have you ever had a word which you've read many times, but have never
heard it pronounced, so that when you say it you fall flat on your
"speech kiester"?  That happened Thursday night when John was here. I
had him heft a doorstop that is a holdover from days selling medical
devices and software. It has a male and female part, and they fit
together after you've put the radioisotope in them. Naturally, the point
of the containers is to shield the radiation. I told him it made "mostly
out of lead," so he said it wouldn't be as heavy as solid gold. I think
he's right, although I haven't bothered to try to verify it. But this
box is also an amalgam of lead *and* tungsten (which gives the box
strength so it's not so easily dented). I also forgot to tell him it has
depleted uranium in it, which is a *very heavy* metal. But the metals
aren't alloyed together: it's an amalgam, only I said it's an
AN-uhl-gam. Now, we do say some words differently and in a way that's
normative to the country as a whole (like DECK-'l instead of DEE-kal).
So I went to look it up, and John was absolutely right: the normative
pronunciation, even in Canada, according to the Oxford Canadian
Dictionary, is ah-MAL-gum.

So, you see, John's smarter than he looks;

By the way, I forgot to add that his daughter, Becky, is a real babe,
and you can tell she has a Hispanic mother. Sorry, guys, but she's
already married.

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he
will pick himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the
author solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the
author’s employer, nor those of any organization with which the author
may be associated.

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