If anybody aks you who I am

Well, I don’t think it was as cold last night as it was on Tuesday, but it seems that the lack of wind made the Hudson freeze over.  All of the inlets down the east side of the river were filled with blocks of ice this morning, and the ice encroached some way into what you might call "the main shipping lane".  It was quite an impressive sight from the window.  However, braving the cold today, I believe some of my fingers may need amputation for frost-bite, having had to faff around glovelessly with a faulty PATH card.  Later this evening, my lack of a hat has meant that I believe my ears have now fallen off.  Note to self: buy a hat.  The forecast is for a weekend of snow, so I fully expect Mr. Stephenson to be diverted to Atlanta on his return from the UK on Sunday.

Am I the only person to have noticed the fact that quite a lot of Americans mispronounce the word ask.  They pronounce it the same as axe.  And this isn’t a one off.  I’ve spoken to quite a few Americans who seem to struggle.  I’ve been told that this is a New York thing (maybe thang – who knows?), but I would argue that it is an education thing.  Apparently, it’s an example of metathesis, the behaviour of transposing sounds or letters in the speaking or writing of words – another example being George W. Bush’s pronunciation of nuclear – noo-kyoo-luhr.  Now this (ask) is one of the shortest words known to man.  (OK, so there are a load of two-letter words that seem to be allowed in Scrabble that no one knows the meaning of, but humour me.)  How can one struggle with the ordering of the consonants?  They seem to struggle equally with the words ask and asks.  R. Kelly certainly struggles big time in his uplifting hyperballad The World’s Greatest.


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