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It can blow up things, so please -- some respect for ''nuclear''

Not to be schoolmarmish about this, but just as E does not equal mc to the third power, neither is the power that this equation helped to harness [or unleash] to be trifled with -- or mispronounced.

In our segment today about whether Japan's domino-effect disasters of quake, tsunami and nuclear breakdowns could derail nuclear energy projects, the word came up a lot.

So, repeat after me:

Nuclear: NEW - klee - your.

''Klee'' rhymes with ''glee,'' as in the popular TV show. Easy mnemonic device.

Nuclear family. Nucleic acids. Nuclear Rabbit [the band, not a radiated hare]. A whole host of fabulous uses await you.

And now you know my ears' particular fingernails-on-a-chalkboard susceptibility.

In our next what-peeves-Patt installment: the ghastly attempts to modify the word ''unique.''