Top 10 Most Mispronounced Words and Phrases
As Better Hearing and Speech Month comes to a close, we thought we’d celebrate with a little humor. You may have been speaking English for 15 days, 20 months or even decades, but English is tricky when it comes to certain pronunciations. There are a number of commonly used words in our daily lives that are often mispronounced.
Are you sure that you are pronouncing all of your words correctly? If you are interviewing for a job, going on a date, or trying to make a good first impression, it’s vital that you are confident in your speech and pronunciation skills. Chances are, you may be mispronouncing at least one of the words below. Alas, it’s not too late to train your brain and tongue to speak each word the right way. Often, these errors are caused by simply speaking too quickly. Slow down and you may get them all correct!
Ten Most Mispronounced Words and Phrases (and how to correct them!)
Mischievous – The trick to this word is making it a three syllable word instead of four. Rather than saying “mis-chee-vee-ous”, the correct pronunciation is “miss-che-vous”.
Pronunciation – This word should sound like “pro-NUN-see-A-shun”, rather than “pro-NOUN-see-A-shun”.
Chipotle – When your friend asks you to lunch at “chip-ol-tay”, please correct him with the proper “chi-pote-lay”.
Often – The “t” is not pronounced. It should sound like “ofen”.
Candidate – Don’t drop the “d”. This word should sound like “candy date”.
Disastrous – This is a three syllable word, not four. The proper way to say this word is “di-zas-tres”, rather than “di-zas-TER-es.”
Electoral – The accent is on the second syllable, not the third. It should sound like “eh-LEK-tor-al.”
Mayonnaise – It is not pronounced “man-nnaise”. Instead, the include the “mayo!”
For all intents and purposes – NOT for all “intensive” purposes.
Reoccur – The correct way to say this is “recur”.
This is just the beginning of the most frequently used (or misused) words around. For a more comprehensive list, and perhaps even a chuckle, check out Dmitry Brant’s blog on Things Americans Say Wrong. Or if you’re a fan of quizzes, the NY Times dialect quiz is a 10 minute exploration of the unique dialect you didn’t even know you had!