Monday, March 21, 2011

Boron, Borax, Boraxo, And Nuclear Power


Neal Whitman in a March 16 article mentioned that the words "unclear and nuclear are anagrams" which made me wonder if those who choose (George W. Bush for instance) to mispronounce the word nuclear (stubbornly saying, "nook-you-luhr" instead of correctly saying, "noo-klee-uhr") also mispronuunce the word unclear as "unk-you-luhr" instead of correctly pronouncing it "uhn-kleer"

I'm sorry, but . . . well . . . I have never been able to understand this specific mispronunciation. Those who pronounce the word as "nook-you-luhr" seem (to me) to be either annoyingly obstinate or perhaps congenitally stupid.

The dictionary states:

Being or having an essential characteristic as if by nature; inherent or inveterate.

1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.
A stupid or foolish person.

The word is pronounced: "NOO-klee-uhr"

Case closed.

But . . .

If you are interested, there is a website listing the 100 most often mispronounced words and phrases in the English language.


A discussion between writers regarding boron and its use for radiation cleanup of the nuclear problems Japan is experiencing due to the earthquakes prompted me to do some research on the subject. But, me being me, I was sidetracked and found myself reading an advertisement for Boraxo Powdered Hand Soap.

The ad brought to mind an old TV show sponsored by Boraxo and hosted by Ronald Reagan titled Death Valley Days. So, of course, I had to look that up, too.

According to Wikipedia:

Boraxo is an American brand of powdered hand soap. As its name implies, Boraxo is composed largely of borax, and is marketed as a product for those who get their hands especially dirty during the course of their work, such as mechanics and farmers.

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid.

Boraxo began as a product of the former Pacific Coast Borax Company (later bought by U.S. Borax), and became known as one of the sponsoring products of the long-running radio and television Western, Death Valley Days. While future President Ronald Reagan was host of this program, he frequently did commercials for it, including one at his ranch involving his family.

As of 2006, Boraxo is manufactured and marketed by the Dial Corporation.

Also from Wikipedia:

Death Valley Days is an American radio and television anthology series featuring true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death Valley area. Created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman, the program was broadcast on radio until 1945. It continued from 1952 to 1975 as a syndicated television series. The series was sponsored by the Pacific Coast Borax Company (20 Mule Team Borax, Boraxo).

There are some Free Old time Radio Shows of Death Valley Days, (1936) 06/17 - The Burro that Had no Name and (1936) 08/27 - Sam Bass. You can listen to them at:

And . . . Ronald Reagan touts Boraxo Powdered Hand Soap on this video:


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