do i know which way "theory" is spelled offhand? obviously not

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weird linguist nosiness 

@laser that's super valid.

this is not a trick question, and "I was never good at counting syllables" is a perfectly acceptable answer: how many syllables do you pronounce in 'theory'?

weird linguist nosiness 

@laser cool. how about 'theoretical'? again, no wrong answers, I just am being tickled by a hypothesis

weird linguist nosiness 

@byttyrs four, i do not pronouce the O either way

weird linguist nosiness 

@laser hell yeah, that makes *extra* sense, 'cause like 'oe' is often an eeee sound in like. British spellings

weird linguist nosiness 

@laser some linguists are like, hand-wavey 'spelling isn't Our Problem', but it's always been fun to me to look at spelling as a part of what people know about their language. spelling undergoes the same kinds of shifts as other forms of language-knowledge, so I like to see if I can look at spelling innovations and figure out, like, 'what knowledge makes this spelling tick?" 😃

... so that's why I'm nosey, I just think this stuff is cool

weird linguist nosiness 

@byttyrs I'm endlessly fascinated by dialects and regionalisms, i get it. It's also so hyper-personal the way someone speaks, and i can usually come up with a reason why i might pronounce something "wrong"

@laser I had a dream last night that i had to explain fish hook theory to my mom

@laser ya know I think I got as far as explaining why horseshoe theory was wrong and was about to move onto fishhook theory and then I woke up

@laser i find it relevant that it's a circle hook rather than a straight hook. A circle hook better demonstrates how close centrist is to far right. A circle hook is also self-landing while a straight hook requires the fisher to land the fish. Circle hook implies that falling into the area between centrist and far right is enough to hook you, a straight hook would imply that an external-to-politics angler had to seal the deal.

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