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 —