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Whenever I go to use the pseudo- prefix, I always have to pause for a moment and decide what the correct e-u order is. Often times I get it wrong. Built in typo correction frequently helps, though there are some instances (irssi, ... written forms) where such a feature does not exist.

I'm very interested in a witty/rhythmic/useful mnemonic to help me remember the correct spelling of pseudo- in full, or even something specific to the e-u ordering.

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closed as not constructive by Jasper Loy, simchona, z7sg Ѫ, Thursagen, waiwai933 Aug 8 '11 at 6:10

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you don't mind an acronym that uses RAS syndrome (see Terms for duplicated words), you could try

Pseudo-science ends up dumped out.

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That is amazing. I don't think I've ever heard of RAS syndrome that directly either. –  VxJasonxV Aug 7 '11 at 17:48
    
Oddly enough, I've never successfully remembered this line, but I always remember "Pseudo Science eventually something something thrown out", yes, "something something" included, which is enough to remind me it starts with Ps*e*. –  VxJasonxV Aug 16 '11 at 23:24

Practise spelling Europe, usefully done often.

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But Europe is not the same. Plus, what does Europe have to do with pseudo? There's no connection for my brain to draw there. Additionally, pseudo has a strong-u sound (like sue-dough) where Europe has a strong-eu sound (yer-ope). P.S. I apologize for completely ruining things that are sensible, like the IPA, in this comment.t –  VxJasonxV Aug 7 '11 at 8:01
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We clearly pronounce things differently; for me (British English) it's syoo-dough and yoo-rup. A tenuous connection is that pseudo is a Greek word (from Europe). Hopefully someone else can come up with a better mnemonic for you! –  Hugo Aug 7 '11 at 8:38
    
I didn't occur to me that your answer would be rooted in British english despite the use of "practise" :). Us American English practicers (bad grammar intention) have a lot of silly changes to those words, I'm sure you're generally aware of many of them. A friend is telling me that I don't have to have such a logical mnemonic as much as I have to have a point of comparison, so currently I'm running with yours. We'll see how it goes next time I have to spell pseudo-, (and that didn't count :P). –  VxJasonxV Aug 7 '11 at 17:12
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@VxJason: This is actually a really good tip that actually makes sense. In Greek, -eu- is a common diphthong, while -ue- is rare. So what if you just remember that all words that come from Greek have -eu-, and think of the spelling of Europe when in doubt, which you will surely spell right? // Europe comes from eurus = "broad" and op- = "view" (the a is because Europa was a mythological woman, look it up). Pseudo- comes from pseudomai, "to tell lies". Another thing to note is that English has hardly any words (perhaps none) that start with ps- but do not come from Greek. –  Cerberus Aug 7 '11 at 17:19

My Greek friends sometimes pronounce it psevdo ('p' not silent). Maybe if you learn to associate "pseudo" with psevdo, you'll spell it correctly.

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Popped into my head just now...

"Ewww" is a verbal expression of disgust.

Pseudopods are pretty gross.

A drawn out "eee yoo" sounds like that expression of disgust. "Yoo eee" not so much.

Just an idea.

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