The Nucular Calvary Suffers Vitripution

When I was writing this post, the first working title was “The Object of their Vitripution”. I wasn’t sure of the spelling so I googled it and found out that there is no such word in the dictionary. But it seems I wasn’t the only person to have this word in my mind.

English has many words with odd shapes borrowed form other other languages. Since their forms were borrowed as finished products (as it were) rather than the product of natural evolution many of the tend to either not fit common word shape patterns and therefore they tend to be unstable. This is reflected in the way speakers want to bend some of the odder words to make them fall in line with more common ones. This is why “cavalry” often becomes “calvary” in popular speech (since they are very unlikely to be confused in context) or “nuclear” becomes “nucular” (so the ending sounds more like “molecular”).

I think “vitripution” maybe is a desire to take the very awkward vituperation and make it sort of rhyme with “retribution”.

Unlike some purists I don’t mind the process by which English speakers try to reduce the number of word shapes. Language never stops changing and purists never stop complaining about that but when the result is to make words easier to say I tend to approve.

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