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Whilst watching The Big Bang Theory (S04E11, ~06:45 in, where Howard and Stuart are talking in the Comic Book Store about Zack), I heard the following exchange:

— Is that sarcasm?
— No, it's an enditement of the American education system.

The two characters involved are talking about a third character (who is present) who is being perceived as "stupid".

When I heard the word enditement I imagined it as a synonym of "example", but I cannot find a definition of a similar-sounding word that fits into the context described.

Can anyone provide the correct spelling/definition of this word?

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The word is indictment. –  JLG Nov 9 '12 at 22:19
Pronounced anywhere from /ɪn'daytmənt/ to /ṇ'dayʔmṇʔ/. –  John Lawler Nov 9 '12 at 22:27
What JLG said. I think it's General Reference - as soon as I type OP's an enditement into the Google search box, it offers me four possible ways to complete my search term. Every one of which changes enditement to indictment. –  FumbleFingers Nov 9 '12 at 22:28
Normally it is pronounced /ɪnˈdaɪtmənt/, at least phonemically. There are various allophones possible there, including up through [n̩ˈdʌɪʔmn̩ʔ], which is close to what John has written. –  tchrist Nov 9 '12 at 23:20
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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, JLG, Mitch, MετάEd, Mark Beadles Nov 10 '12 at 2:05

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

The word is indictment, but pronounced as you spell it. The meaning is "a formal charge or accusation of a serious crime."

By "How I met Your Mother", did you mean "The Big Bang Theory"? Howard, Stuart and Zack are characters in Big Bang, but not in HIMYM as far as I'm aware.

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I wouldn’t say “pronounced as you spell it”; that seldom works in English. Things like /ɪnˈdaɪtmənt/ or [n̩ˈdʌɪʔmn̩ʔ] work much better than “as you spell it”. –  tchrist Nov 9 '12 at 23:29
I think jessicar meant that "enditement", i.e., the OP spelling, is a reasonable way to have transcribed the word as heard. –  Andrew Lazarus Nov 18 '12 at 20:02
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