Pet peeves: PronunicationApril 24, 2008
For a list of the 100 most commonly mispronounced words, go to http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/mispron.html.
Here are some of my pet pronunciation peeves, and some from my readers:
- The lazy pronunciation of et cetera as exetra.
- As an Australian, the mispronunciation of my country’s name by fellow residents (particularly sportspeople). It’s pronounced ‘Oss-tray-lee-ya‘ not Shtray-ya or shtray-yun. Locals have no excuse except laziness. And for the Americans, ‘Aussie’ is pronounced ozzie not ah-see.
- Heinous is pronounced HEE-nus or HAY-nus depending on where you live, NOT HEENY-yus as I’ve heard TV News announcers say.
- Mischievous does not have an extra i in it, so it should be pronounced MIS-che-vus not mis-CHEEVY-yus. And while I’m on about this one, ‘grievous’ is GREE-vus, not GREEVY-us.
- Richard in Western Australia has “a local pet hate: “…the arcade in Perth is Carillon City—almost always pronounced Carilly-yon—seems there is an invisible ‘i’!” (This one annoys me too, so I did a quick search of some online British and US dictionaries and this word has two ‘correct pronunciations: karri-LON and ka-RILL-yn. The local pronunciation is close to the second version—but still isn’t correct. More lazy Australian speech…)
- Substituting ‘k’ for ‘g’ at the end of words such as ‘something’ so that it sounds like ‘somethink’.
- “It’s a mute point”. No it’s not… it’s a ‘moot point’.
- Sports commentators who put extra letters into words such as athlete and triathlon, making them ath-a-lete and tri-ath-a-lon.
- Antarctic has two Cs, so should be pronounced Ant-ARC-tic, not Antar-TIC.
- Library has two Rs, so should be pronounced lie-BRARE-ee, not LIE-bree.
- February also has two Rs, so it should be pronounced FEB-roo-airy, not FEB-ree.
- Nuclear is the bane of many a US president! It’s pronounced NEW-clee-ar, not Noo-KOO-lar.
[This article was adapted from several published in the 2004 CyberText newsletters.]