“Disastrous” has only three syllables, and is pronounced diz-ASS-truss. Because of its relationship to the word “disaster” many people insert an extra second syllable when speaking the word aloud, or even when writing it, resulting in “disasterous.” Not a disastrous error, but it can be an embarrassing one.
This week's entries feature selections from the revised and expanded third edition of Common Errors in English Usage—now available to order on the William, James & Company Web site.
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