Friday, March 13, 2009

You're Saying It Wrong!

Poor pronunciation drives me crazy. Seriously crazy. I’m not talking about people who learned English as a second language – they have a perfectly legitimate reason for mispronouncing words. This is especially true given that, in English, the spelling/pronunciation connection is often attenuated at best. Take for example “laughter” and “daughter” or “bomb” “comb” and “tomb” – why aren't these sets of words pronounced the same? I would be confused too if I learned this a second language.

What I'm talking about, though, is words native speakers of English can’t be bothered to pronounce correctly, even when speaking in a formal setting.

My first example: Library. It’s not “liberry” people!! There’s an R in there. Even worse: February. It’s NOT “Feb-yu-ary.” There’s an R in there. Say it!! How about this one: Temperature. Seems easy enough. Then why do I so often hear “temp-a-chure”?? You can’t eliminate a syllable because you’re lazy!! Don’t add syllables either. For example: Mischievous. It’s pronounced “miss-cheh-vuss” NOT “miss-chee-vee-uss.” Where do people get that extra syllable?? Or how about when people replace one syllable with another, as in: Nuclear? It’s “noo-klee-ar” NOT “noo-kyuu-lar.” Ugh! Or another favorite: Supposedly. It’s not “su-pos-ah-blee.” Read the word.

Ack!! I know some of you have your pet peeve mispronounced words. Feel free to share them in the comments!!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I prob-lee mis-pro-noun-see-ate more off-10 than I realize. I had a friend from Cleveland who drove me up the wall with the accent on the wrong syl-LA-bull: SEM-es-ter. And he lived in keye-HOE-ga county. Saints preserve us!

BikerPuppy said...

But it IS keya-HOE-ga county!! At least, that's the way I've always heard it. But yeah, the em-PHAS-is on the wrong syl-LA-bull is annoying. I noticed in Ohio you can tell when you get south of Columbus when in-SUR-ance becomes IN-sur-ance.

Amazon Barbie said...

I totally agree! My family is from backeast and they say "add-VERT-iss-ment". Drives me crazy! However, the worst two I can think of is "worsh" instead of wash, and "scary" instead of scared. I hear those ALL the time.

BikerPuppy said...

LOL!! I sometimes say "add-VERT-iss-ment" -- dunno where I picked it up. The mother of my best friend in high school said "worsh" all the time. The capital of our country is "Warshington DC" and sometimes they would eat "squarsh" for dinner. Ack!!

WeezerMonkey said...

I say "Feb-yu-ary." It's the primary pronunciation given by Merriam-Webster....

BikerPuppy said...

I don't care what MW says. It's WRONG!!! :p

Anonymous said...

yes, it is keye-a-Hoe-ga. but my friend left out the first a. and (now that i look at what i miswrote) he pronounced the second syllable HOG: so keye-HOG-a. still affects me like fingernails on the blackboard. my wash - learned at mother's knee - is more warsh. sigh

You can call me Sara or a(n) . . . said...

Oh, man, I'm guilty of all the above mispronunciations. (hangs head in shame)

Anonymous said...

I go nuts when I hear newscasters, even sportscasters say "ath-a-lete" for "ath-lete." It's spelled athlete, and thus has two syllables. "Chiminey" is common for "chimney" as well. You can't just go around buying vowells!

Alissa said...

Still recall the teachers I had in school that insisted on saying Ser-RENG-geti (for Serengeti) and Re-NAY-zance (for Renaissance), I can never look at these words the same again without hearing those annoying voices somewhere in the back of my head.

BikerPuppy said...

LOL. I've never heard those, but I had a teacher who required us to say FOR-mid-able and APP-lic-able. I still say them that way.

GoBucks! said...

Yeah, I say FORmidable and APPlicable too; maybe it's an Ohio thing?

BikerPuppy said...

Or you had the same teacher I did. It's definitely not a California thing. I get looks.

Anonymous said...

Here's one that drives me nuts. Realtor. As in Real-tor. People put a 'la' in between the two syllables. It is NOT real-la-tor. I know realtors who can't even pronounce their profession correctly. If you don't know that much what else don't you know?