Lexicon Valley

Does Processes Rhyme With Knees?

How our idea of formality can affect the way we say certain words.

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Episode Notes

Words like analysis, crisis, and diagnosis have plurals—analyses, crises, and diagnoses—that are holdovers from Latin. But what about processes and biases, which don’t follow that Latinate pattern yet are often pronounced to rhyme with knees? John McWhorter explains how formality and frequency can affect the way we say certain words.

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo.

About the Show

If you’ve ever had curious thoughts and questions about the ways we speak, read, and write, Lexicon Valley is the show for you. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

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