The following is a conversation between my 13-year-old son (KJ), 8-year-old daughter (CJ), and me :
KJ: Momma, I just discovered I’ve been spelling and pronouncing “environment” wrong for years.
I had to laugh because it was said as if he’d spent decades on the planet.
MJ: How have you been spelling it?
MJ: So you’ve been pronouncing it like, IN-VI-ERN-MENT?
MJ: Makes you sound like a hick.
KJ [chuckles]: I know, but a lot of people pronounce it that way.
MJ: Do I?
KJ: No, but I didn’t really notice I did until I saw the word on one of my homework assignments.
CJ: I’ve been pronouncing a word wrong.
MJ: You have?
CJ: Yeah, I’ve been saying FEB-YOU-AIR-EE. I didn’t know there was an “R” in there. It’s FEB-ROO-AIR-EE! Everybody says FEB-YOU-AIR-EE.
This got me thinking about words that are commonly mispronounced. I thought of few, but searched on Google for a list. Here are a few I’ve heard or were surprising to me. I have to admit, I was guilty of a few mispronunciations. Click here for the full list.
Incorrect –> Correct
- affidavid –> affidavit Damn. Right of the bat, I’m guilty. I know how it’s spelled, but I think I do this. I can get lazy with the “t” and not say it clearly. Curse you, southern dialect!
- Old Timer’s –> Alzheimer’s Well, I guess Old Timer’s do get Alzheimer’s.
- aks –> ask
- bidness –> business This one is like nails on a chalkboard.
- blessing in the skies –> blessing in disguise I was surprised people mispronounce this one. Maybe they are just waiting for a holy vision to appear?
- cannidate –> candidate Maybe it’s a cross between a cannibal and a candidate? It might not be too far-fetched.
- card shark –> cardsharp I learned something. I’ve never seen it pronounced or written as “cardsharp.” Guilty, again.
- carpool tunnel syndrome –> carpal tunnel syndrome It was probably derived from parents sitting too long in the carpool lane.
- chester drawers –> chest of drawers Who has Chester’s drawers?
- doggy dog world –> dog eat dog world
- expecially –> especially Said by those who are extra special.
- Febyuary –> February Hey, my daughter’s only eight. Cut her some slack.
- irregardless –> regardless
- jewlery –> jewelry This one gets me too.
- Laura Norder –> law and order SMH
- libary–> library I’m going to go out on a limb and say this person doesn’t visit one.
- mawv –> mauve [mowv] Learned something else, but it just doesn’t sound right. Guilty, yet again.
- mute –> moot Nails on a chalkboard.
- neanderthal < –> neandertal Either is acceptable, but Germans pronounce it with a “t” sound. Add German accent if you prefer the “t” version.
- nucular –> nuclear Always makes me think of him.
- persnickety –> pernickety (pronounced with a silent “s”) I’m guilty of pronouncing the “s,” but in my defense, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary shows the incorrect pronunciation.
- prolly –> probably I’ve seen this one typed like this way too many times. Texting is going to destroy our language.
- for all intensive purposes –> for all intents and purposes
- pacifically –> specifically
- supposably –> supposedly And I just thought they were just congested.
- take for granite –> take for granted
- zuology –> zoology Never thought about this until now. Is it Zulander or Zoolander?