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TESOL Videos - How to Pronounce 'BUNKUM' - English Pronunciation
In this episode, we cover the pronunciation of the word "bunkum". This word is a noun and refers to foolish talk or nonsense. The word came into existence after a representative for Buncombe County, North Carolina, held a speech on an irrelevant subject in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1820. Soon after, the word "bunkum" became known as a synonym for nonsense.
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This unit on parts of speech is a good basic guide to English language sentence structure although really only the tip of the iceberg. If you ever take a theoretical syntax course, then you'll know what I mean. Language is an ever-changing creature and we can only do the best we can to tie it down to a structure. This is one reason why it is so difficult for a language learner to gain native-level fluency after adulthood, when we are more apt to seek out defined structures from language instruction rather than gain the knowledge we need through the immersion that is so much easier when we are younger and our brains are more perceptive and flexible. Nevertheless, this parts of speech version of English grammar is still interesting, because it outlines a process that native speakers tend to think little about. The placement of adjectives and adverbs and the use of article can be very confusing for a non-native speaker--and even confuses native speakers at times--so to define them a bit more (e.g. adverbs of manner, time, place, frequency) is quite helpful. Something I had not noticed but thought was very interesting was the sometimes strange use or non-use of the definite article, particularly in regards to bodies of water; rivers and oceans require the definite article whereas lakes and bays prohibit its use, for example. The Potomac and the Pacific are correct usages whereas *the Lake Michigan and *the Hudson Bay are incorrect. It makes sense in our brains (from repeated pattern exposure) but would probably confuse an ELL. This was an interesting unit.