Wrong Word Wednesday Special – You’re Pronouncing it Wrong!

Are you pronouncing certain words wrongly too ofTen? Do you sit down with your eXpresso in the morning and wonder if your pERscription will be ready at the Doctors this morning? Do you see anything wrong with those capitalisations aside from the fact that they are capitalised? Perhaps you might be pronouncing some of these words wrongly.

Granted, some words are pronounced differently due to regional accents or national pronunciations. Ask a Brit and an American to pronounce the following words for example:

  • Tomato (UK Tuh-mah-toe, US Tuh-may-toe)
  • Pecan (UK Pee-cn, US Pih-cahn)
  • Shallot (UK Sh-lot, US Sha-lutt)
  • Vitamin (UK Vit-uh-min, US Vy-tuh-min)
  • Speciality (UK spesh-ee-al-i-tee, US spesh-ul-tee)
  • I would also include the metal aluminium. Americans leave out the second “i” (UK Aluh-min-yum, US Ah-loo-min-um)
  • There’s a few more here

I don’t have a problem with these because they are issues of regionality of the English language. There are words that are not open for discussion though and cannot be excused on grounds of nationality. The most common one in the article above is often. The “t” is silent so you should be pronouncing it offen and not off-ten. Yet everybody does it!

Daily writing tips has listed it’s top 50 most commonly mispronounced words. I take issue with number 30 on grounds of regionality too. This is a case where the American spelling and therefore the pronunciation is slightly different. Jewelry is the Americanised version, jewellery is the British version and we do pronounce – generally – that extra “e” as jewl-er-ee rather than jewl-ree.

What mispronounced words annoy you?

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2 thoughts on “Wrong Word Wednesday Special – You’re Pronouncing it Wrong!

  1. I used to get a lot more annoyed by mispronounced words, but I’ve come around to the view of accepting language change as an inevitable and, overall, positive thing. Still get annoyed by ‘literally’ being changed to ‘figuratively’ but hey. It’s just one of those things!

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