Kevin Bacon was the celebrity guest on today’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, and apparently he’s appearing in the latest movie based on the X-Men comics. I have no interest in either comic or movie, but what did catch my attention was that he pronounced the title /’eksmən/, with a reduced vowel in the final syllable like that in policemen. I myself would say /’eksˌmen/, with secondary stress and full vowel in the final syllable, but it occurs to me that if you have to say the word a lot (as, for example, if you are a cast member), you might start using a reduced form, in a sort of sped-up version of normal linguistic change. Or perhaps everyone says it that way now; how would I know? Or perhaps it’s unique to Bacon, or even a slip of the tongue. So I throw the question out there: does the reduced-vowel version seem OK to you? Would you use it yourself?