One of my fourth grade students from last year moved to Connecticut over the summer and enrolled in a new school for fifth grade, a well-known and highly-considered private school. His mother just visited today and told me the following story.

In his second week at his new school, while still feeling very unsure of himself, the boy was sitting in class while the teacher discussed the word "contribution." The teacher informed the class that the suffix was <-tion>. The boy, remembering his word study classes last year, raised his hand and said that he thought the suffix was <-ion>. The teacher, not one to encourage any lip from his students, said sarcastically that if that were so, the word would have to be pronounced con-trih-BUTT-shun, thereby eliciting the expected laugh from the rest of the students at the boy's expense, and ensuring that he would think twice before ever disagreeing again.

It's not only teachers who have to fight the good fight, alas.

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