Posted by: Jack Henry | August 22, 2019

Editor’s Corner: Mispronounced Words

Good morning, everyone. Today I’m sharing a list of mispronounced words. Coming from a family of many varied accents, I wondered if the pronunciations would differ regionally, and my guess is that they do; however, I checked the pronunciations on the Merriam-Webster website, so whether you’re from California, Kentucky, or Maine, these are the preferred pronunciations. I was surprised by a couple of them.

This is by no means a complete list, but it gets the conversation started.

acai: should be ah-sigh-EE

conch: should be conk

espresso: should be es-PRESS-O (not ex-PRESS-o)

February: should be FEB-ru-ar-ee (we shouldn’t be dropping the first r).

forte: should be fort (not for-TAY)

foyer: should be FOY-er (not foy-YAY)

gala: should be GAY-la (not GAL-uh)

hyperbole: should be hy-PER-ba-lee (not HY-per-bowl)

liable: should be LIE-a-ble (not LIE-ble)

library: should be LIE-brare-ee (don’t drop the first r)

meme: should be meem

mischievous: should be MIS-chiv-ous (not mis-CHEEV-i-ous)

niche: should be nitch (not neesh)

nuclear: should be NEW-clee-ur (not NEW-que-lur)

often: should be OFF-en (not OFF-ten)

realtor: should be REEL-tur (not REE-la-tur)

regime: should be RAY-geem (not RUH-geem)

sherbet: should be sher-BET (not SHER-bert)

status: should be STAY-tus (not STAH-tus)

triathlon: should be tri-ATH-len (not tri-ATH-a-lon)

valet: should be VAL-it (not val-AY)

And because my son recently graduated with a degree in zoology…

zoology: should be zoh-AH-lo-jee (not zoo-AH-lo-jee)

And because my other son is in the Coast Guard…

boatswain: should be boh-sun

coxswain: should be kahk-sun

How many surprised you? I hope you have a fabulous day.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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  1. […] written previously about commonly mispronounced words. And I often get inquiries about how to pronounce certain words—because no one wants to be the […]

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