How do you pronounce “mispronunciation”?

pronounceThere is a list of commonly mispronounced words in the English language.  English is my second language, so I find myself having extra difficulty pronouncing some words. People used to make fun of my accent while growing up.  So I have become more conscious of the way I pronounce some words.  But at the same time, I have heard many English speaking people also having a hard time pronouncing some themselves, not to mention how to spell them.  But my struggle has been steady, some words I manage to master, but others remain a challenge.  For instance, the words “refrigerator“, “evaluation”, and “focusing” (the latter almost sounding like a curse word when I utter it) have been interesting to pronounce.  Also the words “awkward“, which I prefer to say “strange”, “veterinarian” which I prefer to simply call “animal doctor”, and “food” which I prefer to say “meal”.  The latter one I tend to pronounce it like “fool” or “feud”. Still not right. How about “lasagna”, “piranha”, and “coercion”?  So many times I find myself rehearsing or simply trying to avoid uttering these words.  In my profession, I struggle with pronouncing common terms such as “methamphetamine”, “dopamine”, “marijuana”, “somatoform” , “enuresis”, and “trichotillomania”.   So my dilemma has been trying to “fit in” and pronounce these words the way most people, or the way the dictionary mandates. I wonder if this is the same for all those whose English is also the second language or is it also common with those who grew up speaking English.  Sometimes I just say to myself “the heck with it, I will just pronounce it any way I feel like it.  People should know what I mean!”.  But other times I think I should conform to how the majority pronounce words.  Nevertheless, I thought I could share some of my experiences in this world of languages.  To end, let me share with you some commonly mispronounced words.  Enjoy trying to pronounce them out loud.  Ready?

  • aegis: ee-jis, not ay-jis
  • asterisk: as-ter-isk, not as-ter-ik
  • alumnae: a-lum-nee, not a-lum-nay
  • archipelago: ar-ki-PEL-a-go, not arch-i-pel-a-go
  • athlete: ath-leet, not ath-a-leet
  • candidate: kan-di-dayt, not kan-i-dayt
  • chimera: kiy-MEER-a, not CHIM-er-a
  • disastrous: di-zas-tres, not di-zas-ter-es
  • electoral: e-LEK-tor-al, not e-lek-TOR-al
  • etcetera: et-set-er-a, not ek-set-er-a
  • lambaste: lam-bayst, not lam-bast
  • larvae: lar-vee, not lar-vay
  • library: li-brar-y, not li-bar-y
  • mischievous: MIS-che-vus, not mis-CHEE-vee-us
  • mispronunciation: mis-pro-nun-see-ay-shun, not mis-pro-nown-see-ay-shun
  • nuclear: noo-klee-ur, not noo-kyu-lur
  • nuptial: nup-shul, not nup-shoo-al
  • primer: (schoolbook) prim-mer, not pry-mer
  • picture: pik-cher, not pit-cher
  • prescription: prih-skrip-shun, not per-skrip-shun
  • prerogative: pre-rog-a-tive, not per-rog-a-tive
  • peremptory: per-emp-tuh-ree, not pre-emp-tuh-ree
  • probably: prob-a-blee, not pra-lee or prob-lee
  • Realtor: reel-ter, not ree-la-ter
  • supposedly: su-pos-ed-lee, not su-pos-ab-lee
  • spurious: spyoor-ee-us, not spur-ee-us
  • tenet: ten-it, not ten-unt
  • ticklish: tik-lish, not tik-i-lish
  • triathlon: try-ath-lon, not try-ath-a-lon

Read more: Commonly Mispronounced Words — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0907075.html#ixzz1SytYQClS

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2 thoughts on “How do you pronounce “mispronunciation”?

  1. This is a great post! I’m smiling, because in the United States where English is expected to be understood by most, the variances in pronunciation are remarkable across many regions. Your ‘mistakes’ would most likely be amusing and enjoyed, rather than judged! Language should be flexible and fun unless someone is giving a critical professional presentation that requires perfection expected by the audience!

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