Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Look Out For The Ask Murderer!

We have all heard of him. He is the subject of many creepy horror tales and the inhabitant of many a nightmare. He is the dreaded Ax Murderer!

But there is another scary type of person lurking about. I have seen him rather frequently.

I watch a fair bit of sports. I am sure you know that announcers as well as athletes can be a rich source of language goofs. But there is one in particular that really grates on my nerves. I hear it over and over, year after year. It is the pronunciation of "ask" as "ax".

"May I ask you a question?"

"Sure, man! Ax me anything you want."

Head for the hills! The Ask Murderer is out and about!!! Save the kids!!

Is it really that difficult a tax to pronounce it correctly? Or do you just let it go and hurry off to bax in the sun and hide behind you max of indifference?

As I pondered these questions I grabbed my cax (or was it a flax?) of Amontillado and went off to visit a few of my favorite websites. When I stopped by Schott's Vocab I came across a story that revealed the following -

The Chilean mint issued thousands of coins with the name of the country misspelled, the BBC reported:

The 50-peso coins – worth about 10 cents (6p) – were issued in 2008, but no-one noticed the mistake until late last year.

Instead of C-H-I-L-E, the coins had C-H-I-I-E stamped on them.

The coins have since become collectors’ items and the mint says it has no plans to take them out of circulation.

Perhaps they should have axed the proofreader?

Finally, for all of the thousands of athletes who visit this page -


(US also ax)


1 a heavy-bladed tool used for chopping wood.

2 (the axe) severe cost-cutting action.


cancel or dismiss suddenly and ruthlessly.

— PHRASES have an axe to grind have a private reason for doing something.



1 say something in order to get an answer or some information.

2 say that one wants someone to do, give, or allow something.

3 (ask for) request to speak to.

4 expect or demand (something) of someone.

5 invite (someone) to a social occasion.

6 (ask out) invite (someone) out on a date.

7 (ask after) inquire about the well-being of (someone).

— PHRASES a big ask Austral./NZ informal a difficult demand to fulfill. for the asking for little or no effort or cost.


  1. So. All you are asking is to ax ax for ask. LOL

    Great post!


  2. I've always wondered about this too. Often seems to be said by black people. Makes me wonder if theres something different about their tongue or vocal chords or maybe location or familiar?

    Also many people who write then when they mean than as in "i liked it more then that" It catches me every time wondering what they mean. I've never noticed if they say it like that or not, have you?