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September 16, 2012

I’ve just looked up the word flaccid in an online dictionary (never mind why: I had my reasons) and was surprised to see that two pronunciations were given: flasid and flaksid. I’ve got used to hearing people pronounce it as ‘flasid’ (rhymes with acid) but I hadn’t thought that this had yet become so entrenched as to achieve dictionary authority (and to be given as the  first pronunciation); still, dictionaries record usage and if virtually everyone pronounces it as if it had only one c, then dictionaries must reflect that. But I am puzzled that this pronunciation has become so popular. Usually, when a word has two consecutive letter cs followed by an or e, the first c is hard and the second soft: ks. As in accident, access, succeed etc. When, and why, did flaccid become an exception to this rule? I shall still carry on with the old pronunciation for a while, but I’m worried it’s going to make me sound a bit fogeyish. One can’t swim against the tide for ever. I suppose eventually I might have to switch to the new pronunciation, though I won’t be happy about it. Perhaps I’ll just avoid saying the word (which I don’t use all that often anyway).

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  1. I’ve only ever come across the “fasid” pronunciation (and I’m half a century old, too!); “flaksid” sounds rebarbative to me!


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