Is “Religulous” A Word?
Since it’s the title of a movie, “religulous” must be said to be a word, but it’s not a very good one.
I object to it as I do to any movie title that spreads and reinforces incorrect forms of English spelling or idiom.
Critics to the contrary, English spelling has rules and the portmanteau word “religulous”, a combination of religion+ridiculous, or religion+incredulous, breaks one of them.
The letter g represents two different sounds, “hard g” and “soft g.”
The “hard” sound of the letter g is /g/ as in gun.
The “soft” sound of the letter g is /j/ as in gin.
Here’s the rule:
G has the “soft sound” when followed by the vowels e, i, or y.
Examples: genuine, ginger, gypsy, and gyves (the little leather ties used on the legs of hunting birds)
Before you ask: the g in girl is not followed by the vowel i. It is followed by the vowel/consonant combination ir and retains the “hard” sound: /gurl/
In spoken advertising, the movie is called /re-lij-u-lus/, but according to the rule, it would be /re-lig-u-lus/.
Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily!
Keep learning! Browse the Spelling category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:
- What is the Difference Between "These" and "Those"?
- 50 Idioms About Meat and Dairy Products
- The Difference Between "Phonics" and "Phonetics"
Stop making those embarrassing mistakes! Subscribe to Daily Writing Tips today!
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!