Archive for the ‘Pronunciation’ Category



September 19, 2008

We all say we don’t have an accent, but we all do—to someone from somewhere else!

To hear the same very short script spoken by representative speakers in different states, countries, and regions of the world, go to, click on a region, then a flag. You’ll need your computer headphones or speakers turned on.

Now you can hear the differences between a New Zealand and Australian accent, between the west and east coasts in the US, between Irish and Scottish, and whatever other accents you want to listen to.


General dictionary and glossary sites

August 4, 2008

The internet contains a wealth of information—here are some general dictionary sites that I recommend:

[This article was first published in the September 2002 CyberText Newsletter; links last checked January 2008]


Mispronounced words and phrases

July 31, 2008 maintains a list of the “100 most mispronounced words and phrases in English“. One of my favorites from this list is Heineken remover for the Heimlich manoeuvre!

Others I’ve mentioned before in my Pet Peeves: Pronunciation post.

[Links last checked February 2008]


Pet peeves: Pronunication

April 24, 2008

For a list of the 100 most commonly mispronounced words, go to

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.]