General Question

Strauss's avatar

Pundit or "Pundant"?

Asked by Strauss (20385points) July 27th, 2012

Over the last few years, I have increasing heard radio talk show hosts, TV personalities, and yes, political types, use the term “pundant” in a context where I think they should have used “pundit”. Do you think this is a new word, or a mispronunciation?

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14 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Mispronunciation or mishearing. I’ve never heard it said like that, before.

thorninmud's avatar

Maybe it’s a cross between a pundit and a pedant. They do amazing things with gene splicing these days.

JLeslie's avatar

Mispronounciation. Maybe they don’t know how it is spelled? I have heard it said pundant also.

Although, many words are not pronounced how they are spelled, and not because it is how the word should be pronounced, but just because a subgroup of people pronounce it that way and it sounds right or normal to them. My husband asks me about this sort of thing all the time. His last fixation was the word ask being pronounced axed, or however it is said.

CWOTUS's avatar

Are you positive that they’re not using the word “pedant”? Not to be pedantic here…

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Trillian's avatar

Maybe it’s play on words, referring to a pedantic pundit?

picante's avatar

From my “go-to” source for usage, Paul Bryans:

pundint/pundit: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Monday, July 23, 2012

“Pundit” is one of those words we get from India, like “bungalow” and “thug.” It comes from pandit, meaning “scholar,” “learned person.” The first premier of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, was often referred to respectfully as “Pandit Nehru.”

In English it has come to refer to opinionated commentators on public affairs, but it is often mispronounced and misspelled “pundint” or “pundant.”

Strauss's avatar

@jleslie I read somewhere that “axed” as a mispronunciation for “asked” has been traced historically through the southern U.S. to 16th century England.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Well it is said by late 20th century and early 21st century black people mostly in the southern US. I haven’t heard other groups use it here in America, but they might. I know Oprah spoke about it at least once and some other common “mistakes” when she had a guest on who said, “English is your friend.” I’m not picking on this one group though, my mom still says idear, instead of idea. Bronx accent.

2davidc8's avatar

@JLeslie Another one is “asteriks”.

JLeslie's avatar

@2davidc8 I guess those are chalked up to dialect. But the pundit thing I think is ignorance about how the word is spelled, and having learned the word by hearing it used in the media rather than having learned it by reading, or some more formal education circumstance. That’s how it seems to me anyway. The only way to know is to ask some of these people in the media to spell it and see what they come up with. If they slip in an n before the t we have our answer. Whether they spell it with the i or the a would not be a big deal to me, because that is easily mistaken in many words. Not that spelling doesn’t matter to me, it does, I just mean it is less important for the question at hand.

I’ve made the mistake also I am sure. Hearing a word, assuming how it is spelled by how I think it is pronounced, or not completely understanding the definition of the word. Sometimes it happens that entire groups misuse a word.

Strauss's avatar

@jleslie It seems most instances I’ve noticed haave been media types. Here is an observation by none other than Dick. Cavett about the word.

bookish1's avatar

I think it’s a mispronunciation because people don’t read…

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