Wednesday, January 26, 2011

february is only feb-roo-wa-ree and feb-yoo-wa-ree

february is national arts month in the philippines. and our government is celebrating it by holding the philippine international arts festival, a month-long flurry of activities all over the archipelago.

because national arts month is happening this february, and because january is about to end, and because i just heard actor jericho rosales mispronounce the word 'february,' i figured it's about time that we have a review. this way, we don't end up like mr. rosales and the many people out there who mispronounce 'february' with gleeful abandon.

so here it is. you have two options in pronouncing 'february.' the standard way is feb-roo-wa-ree. the only acceptable variant drops the r, a phenomenon ascribed to haplology (according to, a sound change involving the loss of a syllable when it is next to a phonetically identical syllable), feb-yoo-wa-ree. it is not, as mr. rosales pronounced it, feb-yaree. it's also not feb-ya-ree, feb-ra-ree, or feb-raree. and never feb-waree nor feb-wa-ree.

so next week, when you start telling your friends that february is national arts month, you have two options: feb-roo-wa-ree and feb-yoo-wa-ree. no need to do a jericho rosales.