Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 2,777,461 members, 6,617,703 topics. Date: Sunday, 05 December 2021 at 04:21 PM

100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English - Education - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Education / 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English (2240 Views)

12 Wrong English Sentences And Phrases You Have Been Making In Ignorance / Confusing English Words/Phrases You Probably Do Not Know / Commonly Mispronounced Words by Nigerians (2) (3) (4)

(1) (Reply) (Go Down)

100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English by Darkchocolate(f): 6:55pm On Jan 25, 2016
There are spelling rules in English, even if they are difficult to understand, so pronouncing a word correctly usually does help you spell it correctly. Here are the 100 most often mispronounced English words ("mispronunciation" among them). Several common errors are the result of rapid speech, so take your time speaking, correctly enunciating each word. Careful speech and avid reading are the best guides to correct spelling.

Don't say: acrossed | Do say: across

Comment: It is easy to confuse "across" with "crossed" but better to keep them separate.

Don't say: affidavid | Do say: affidavit

Comment: Even if your lawyer's name is ''David,'' he issues affidavits.

Don't say: Old-timer's disease | Do say: Alzheimer's disease

Comment: While it is a disease of old-timers, it is named for the German neurologist, Dr. Alois Alzheimer.

Don't say: Antartic | Do say: Antarctic

Comment: Just think of an arc of ants (an ant arc) and that should help you keep the [c] in the pronunciation of this word.

Don't say: Artic | Do say: Arctic

Comment: Another hard-to-see [c] but it is there.

Don't say: aks | Do say: ask

Comment: This mispronunciation has been around for so long (over 1,000 years) that linguist Mark Aronoff thinks we should cherish it as a part of our linguistic heritage. Most of us would give the axe to "aks."

Don't say: athelete, atheletic | Do say: athlete, athletic

Comment: Two syllables are enough for "athlete."

Don't say: barbituate | Do say: barbiturate

Comment: Don't forget this word contains three others: bar+bit+u+rate

Don't say: bob wire | Do say: barbed wire

Comment: No, this word wasn't named for anyone named ''Bob;'' it should be "barbed wire," although the suffix -ed, meaning ''having,'' is fading away in the U.S.

Don't say: bidness | Do say: business

Comment: The change of [s] to [d] before [n] is spreading throughout the US and when the unaccented [I] drops from this word the [s] finds itself in the same environment as in "isn't" and "wasn't."

Don't say: a blessing in the skies | Do say: a blessing in disguise

Comment: This phrase is no blessing if it comes from the skies. (Pronounce it correctly and help maintain the disguise.)

Don't say: Calvary | Do say: Cavalry

Comment: It isn't clear why we say, ''Mind your Ps and Qs'' when we have more difficulty keeping up with our Ls and Rs. Had there been a cavalry in Jesus' time, perhaps Calvary would not have been so tragic.

Don't say: cannidate | Do say: candidate

Comment: You aren't being canny to drop the [d] in this word. Remember, it is the same as "candy date." (This should help guys remember how to prepare for dates, too.)

Don't say: card shark | Do say: cardsharp

Comment: Cardsharps probably won't eat you alive, though they are adept at cutting your purse strings.

Don't say: carpool tunnel syndrome | Do say: carpal tunnel syndrome

Comment: This one is mispronounced (and misspelled) several different ways; we just picked the funniest. Carpal means ''pertaining to the wrist.''

Don't say: caucaphony | Do say: cacophony

Comment: There is no greater cacophony [kæ'kafêni] to the ears than to hear the vowels switched in the pronunciation of this word.

Don't say: The Caucases | Do say: The Caucasus

Comment: Although there are more than one mountain in this chain, their name is not a plural noun.

Don't say: chester drawers | Do say: chest of drawers

Comment: The drawers of Chester is a typical way of looking at these chests down South but it misses the point.

Don't say: chomp at the bit | Do say: champ at the bit

Comment: "Chomp" has probably replaced "champ" in the U.S. but we thought you might like to be reminded that the vowel should be [æ] not [o].

Don't say: close | Do say: clothes

Comment: The [th] is a very soft sound likely to be overlooked. Show your linguistic sensitivity and always pronounce it.

Don't say: coronet | Do say: cornet

Comment: Playing a crown (coronet) will make you about as popular as wearing a trumpet (cornet) on your head; reason enough to keep these two words straight.

Don't say: dialate | Do say: dilate

Comment: The [i] in this word is so long there is time for another vowel but don't succumb to the temptation.

Don't say: diptheria | Do say: diphtheria

Comment: The ''ph'' in this word is pronounced [f], not [p].

Don't say: doggy dog world | Do say: dog eat dog world

Comment: The world is even worse than you think if you think it merely a "doggy-dog world." Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news.

Don't say: drownd | Do say: drown

Comment: You add the [d] only to the past tense and past participle.

Don't say: elec'toral | Do say: e'lectoral

Comment: The accent is on the second, not the third, syllable and there is no [i] in it; not "electorial." (By the way, the same applies to "mayoral" and "pastoral."wink

Don't say: excape | Do say: escape

Comment: The good news is, if you say "excape," you've mastered the prefix ex- because its meaning does fit this word. The bad news is, you don't use this prefix on "escape."

Don't say: expresso | Do say: espresso

Comment: While I can't express my love for espresso enough, this word was borrowed from Italian well after the Latin prefix ex- had developed into es-.

Don't say: excetera | Do say: et cetera

Comment: Latin for "and" (et) "the rest" (cetera) are actually two words that probably should be written separately.

Don't say: expecially | Do say: especially

Comment: Things especial are usually not expected, so don't confuse these words.

Don't say: Febyuary | Do say: February

Comment: We don't like two syllables in succession with an [r] so some of us dump the first one in this word. Most dictionaries now accept the single [r] pronunciation but, if you have an agile tongue, you may want to shoot for the original.

Don't say: fedral | Do say: federal

Comment: Syncopation of an unaccented vowel is fairly common in rapid speech but in careful speech it should be avoided.

Don't say: fillum | Do say: film

Comment: We also do not like the combination [l] + [m]. One solution is to pronounce the [l] as [w] ("film" [fiwm}, "palm" [pawm]) but some prefer adding a vowel in this word.

Don't say: fisical | Do say: fiscal

Comment: In fact, we don't seem to like any consonants together. Here is another word, like athlete and film that is often forced to swallow an unwanted vowel.

Don't say: flounder | Do say: founder

Comment: As verbs, both words have similar meanings with "flounder" meaning to make a lot of errors or to have trouble moving; however, to "founder" is to totally fail.

Don't say: foilage | Do say: foliage

Comment: Here is another case of metathesis, place-switching of sounds. Remember, the [i] comes after the [l], as in related "folio."

Don't say: For all intensive purposes | Do say: For all intents and purposes

Comment: The younger generation is mispronouncing this phrase so intensively that it has become popular both as a mispronunciation and misspelling.

Don't say: forte | Do say: fort

Comment: The word is spelled "forte" but the [e] is pronounced only when speaking of music, as a "forte passage." The words for a strong point and a stronghold are pronounced the same: [fort].

Don't say: Heineken remover | Do say: Heimlich maneuver (or manoeuvre, Br.)

Comment: This term is mispronounced many different ways. This is just the funniest one we have heard. This maneuver (manoeuvre) was named for U.S. surgeon Henry Jay Heimlich (1920- ).

Don't say: heighth | Do say: height

Comment: The analogy with "width" misleads many of us in the pronunciation of this word because we try to end the word with the "th" sound. The initial [h] and the final [t] is always pronounced.

Don't say: hi-archy | Do say: hierarchy

Comment: Remember, hierarchies go higher than you might think. This one is pronounced "higher archy" and not "high archy."

Don't say: in parenthesis | Do say: in parentheses

Comment: No one can enclose an expression in one parenthesis; at least two parentheses are required.

Don't say: interpretate | Do say: interpret

Comment: This error results from the back-formation of "interpretate" from "interpretation." But back formation isn't needed; we already have "interpret."

Don't say: irregardless | Do say: regardless

Comment: "-Less" already says ''without'' so there is no need to repeat the same sentiment with "ir-."

Don't say: jewlery | Do say: jewelry

Comment: The root of this word is "jewel" and that doesn't change for either "jeweler" or "jewelry." The British add a syllable: "jewellery"

Don't say: jist nor dis | Do say: just

Comment: As opposed to the adjective "just," this word is always unaccented, which encourages vowel reduction. However, it sounds better to reduce the [ê] rather than replace it with [i].

Don't say: Klu Klux Klan | Do say: Ku Klux Klan

Comment: Well, there is an [l] in the other two, why not the first? Well, that is just the way it is; don't expect rationality from this organization.

Don't say: lambast | Do say: lambaste

Comment: Better to lambaste the lamb than to baste him remember, the words rhyme. "Bast" has nothing to do with it.

Don't say: Larnyx | Do say: larynx

Comment: More metathesis. Here the [n] and [y] switch places. Mind your [n]s and [y]s as you mind your [p]s and [q]s.

Don't say: Laura Norder | Do say: law and order

Comment: The sound [aw] picks up an [r] in some dialects (also "sawr" and "gnawr"wink. Avoid it and keep Laura Norder in her place.

Don't say: leash | Do say: lease

Comment: Southern Americans are particularly liable to confuse these two distinct words but the confusion occurs elsewhere. Look out for it.

Don't say: libel | Do say: liable

Comment: You are liable for the damages if you are successfully sued for libel. But don't confuse these discrete words.

Don't say: libary | Do say: library

Comment: As mentioned before, English speakers dislike two [r]s in the same word. However, we have to buck up and pronounce them all.

Don't say: long-lived | Do say: long-lived

Comment: This compound is not derived from ''to live longly'' (you can't say that) but from ''having a long life'' and should be pronounced accordingly. The plural stem, live(s), is always used: "short-lived," "many-lived," "triple-lived."
Re: 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English by kossyablaze(m): 7:03pm On Jan 25, 2016
▄︻̷̿┻̿═━一 8 gunshts For u!
Re: 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English by aare07(m): 7:15pm On Jan 25, 2016
Kudos to you
Re: 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English by Slimzjoe(m): 7:23pm On Jan 25, 2016
Darkchocolate do Cross-check that Last one
Re: 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English by ADENIKETINA2015(f): 8:15pm On Jan 25, 2016
FP tinz

Don't say t(h)ins, say Things

Don't say Lain , say Rain

Don't say Fis, say Fish

Don't say zampion, say Champion
Re: 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words & Phrases In English by ADENIKETINA2015(f): 8:16pm On Jan 25, 2016
Nice piece.

Taking the gospel to IBADAN & the Northtongue

(1) (Reply)

Pregnancy Of Nursing Students / When We Say Dentistry And Dental Surgery........its Another Tougher Ministry / Seminar Topics In Medical Laboratory Science (haematology Specialty)

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2021 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 123
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.