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July 9, 2013
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Idea: a formulated thought or opinionIdeal: a standard of perfection
I was born and raised in Texas. In my late teens I was informed by my uncle, a Yankee ( from New York), that I was incorrectly using ideal in place of idea. The conversation probably took 30 minutes for me to figure out the words were not interchangeable. For about 7 years now, I have lived in the Midwest and most people have no idea what region I am from which is no small feat for someone from the South. A funny thing happened to me today when I was told I was saying ideal in place of idea which is 100% not the case. I am fully aware and tend to correct myself if this does happen; I am even a little OCD about it. Another person I trust told me he heard "ideal" too and that he hears me use it a lot. So I have to conclude that while I may be saying idea my annunciation is not distinct enough for people to hear the difference between the "ea" and the "al" sound.
This is definitely a regional issue and while I always try to use the correct verbiage when I speak, I can never get why people have to be so pedantic when they clearly understand the idea a person is trying convey. Oh how I wished we lived in my ideal world.
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