Usage Note: The pronunciation of banal is not settled among educated speakers of American English. Sixty years ago, H.W. Fowler recommended the pronunciation (rhyming with panel), but this pronunciation is now regarded as recondite by most Americans: it is preferred by only 2 percent of the Usage Panel. Other possibilities are (rhyming with anal), preferred by 38 percent of the Panel; (rhyming with canal), preferred by 46 percent; and (the last syllable rhyming with doll), preferred by 14 percent (this last pronunciation is more common in British English). Some Panelists admit to being so vexed by the problem that they tend to avoid the word in conversation. Speakers can perhaps take comfort in knowing that any one of the last three pronunciations will have the support of a substantial minority and that none of them is incorrect. When several pronunciations of a word are widely used, there is really no right or wrong one.
I always pronounce it the second way.
This leads me to the true topic of this blog entry: being anal.
Five minutes after typing that last sentence: Holy crap, I just deleted a bunch of stuff I had written about being anal, then realized that I had already posted on this very topic already. I don’t remember when, but I know I did. This isn’t really happening to me. Oh dear.
Seppo and I were heading down 880S when the transmission suddenly died. We flipped on the hazard lights and coasted to the nearest exit (fortunately, we were going slightly downhill shortly after losing the transmission). We had just picked up the car yesterday from the garage after getting the front axel replaced. It cost me a pretty penny. And a few ugly ones too. Thank goodness I upgraded to AAA Plus at the end of last year, because we were able to get towed to the garage we used for the axel instead of somewhere within a measely seven mile radius. When the tow truck picked up the front of the car, the transmission fluid gushed out in a terrifying rush. Looked like creepy machine blood. Seppo’s mom picked us up from the garage, then we had some food at Noah’s Bagels (where they forgot Seppo’s order entirely, then burned my bagel to charred black goodness, forgot Seppo’s potato salad, then didn’t toast the bagel dark the second time — oh well), then came home, where I found that I can’t seem to connect to the VPN at my work. This is pretty comical.
That will show me to get “angry” at things that don’t really make me that angry. Heh.
The good thing is that we were able to get to a safe place after we lost the transmission. We also have jobs where we won’t get instantly fired for missing a day. We got to eat an early lunch outside. We had someone available that could pick us up, no problem. We had AAA Plus! Hee. We can spend some time with the dog. It’s not bad, all things considered.
I only hope the car does not cost a lot to repair. We are assuming for now that the problem was caused by the work done by the garage earlier in the week/end of last week, but there is no guarantee that it’s not a new, unrelated problem. Let’s hope not.