of no fixed subtitle
March 21, 2004
100 most mispronounced words
and phrases in English. Shamelessly stolen from Those On The Blue.
19 years ago
Oh, it is indeed a doggy doggied world! Wondewrful, marvelous, thanks, Sooooz!
before you comment, I beg you. Yes, of course I agree with every word of it.
Ah, not taking sides for or against prescriptivists, just enjoying the vagaries of English spelling, Wolof!
"Shamelessly stolen from Those On The Blue."
Who stole it from linkfilter, who stole it from Catch, who stole it from from newslab, ain't that a betch. (Ok, I can't rhyme)
♥ the link though. (I am online a, make that way, too much. Cannibalism is the rule, not the exception, for blogs.)
Worked On Preview, I swear)
I'm glad I saw languagehat's dissection though - I was beginning to be annoyed. Some of what Dr. Language does point out are actual mistakes - particularly for names or distinct terms - but the rest are just snobbish preference for one dialect over another. Dialects are beeyutifull
they sound different. Would we really all want to have that horrible flat North American newscaster accent? Or the Queen's English - that tense arch sound? (I love the woman in the cute hats, but the upper-class English accent is like nails on the chalkboard of my ears, especially considering all the lovely sounds in the rest of the country.) And I can say that, considering my country has a parliment, it
pronounced parlement! (The middle vowel is actually a schaw, but my keyboard doesn't have one)
*grimly observes the smoking wreckage that is jb's last paragraph, and decides against teh snark*
So.... I'm saying lots of words wrong a regular basis. I feel stupid now. But some of them are just funny because they are so far off. For example, Old-Timer's as Alzheimer's, bob wire as barbed wire, and my favourite, Carpool tunnel syndrome. It's not that someone doesn't know how the pronounce the word. It's that they have no idea what the word is. I gotta say that I never knew that 'spitting image' was actually 'spit and image'. Learn something every day.
: My simple spelling mistake simply proves my point. The A in parliament is not pronounced. Also, pointing out that one is not snarking is the same as snarking, only more annoying, since it assumes a
innocence. A polite correction, however, would have been appreciated.
J, as long as you're putting a schwa on a keyboard, put a reversed-epsilon there, too. We'll worry about getting MoFi to display those characters on another day.
You say potato and I say potahto, You say potato and I say tomahto; Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto! Let's call the whole thing off!
That's how you spell schwa! I knew I had it wrong, but really, I have never written the word, when I had the handy symbol. Thanks, goetter. What is a reversed epsilon? And what is it used for?
It's a Greek lower-case epsilon, rotated on its vertical axis to resemble the Arabic digit "3." It's used to represent certain vowel sounds [vague handwaving here]. See, when requesting reversed-epsilon, my rusty brain fused and confused two other IPA characters that I'd find useful: the open-o aka turned-c, which is sort of the "aw" in "awful," and regular ol' epsilon, which is a nasal sort of "a." I used them both in transcribing
(AUA method), long ago. I don't know how
-epsilon sounds - my bad.
You know, I can't say the open-o. I've tried and tried - it just isn't used in my dialect. Whatever I say sounds either like the lower back a or the full on o. I've never met a North American who does say the open-o though, it's a very Britain and rest of commonwealth thing. Is the epsilon the one that is used to represent the short vowel in words like "get"? And if we did ever get into indepth discussions of our various dialects, IPA would be useful. Problem is that the few courses in linguistics that I took taught some weird hybrid thing between the IPA and an American phonectic system. And I only
I read this yesterday on Metafilter. It angried up my blood, I must say. languagehat's weblog comment pretty much covers it all. I expect I mispronounce words in way whoever wrote this probably can't even begin to imagine. I have never, for example, said library with three syllables - I say lie-bree. Its called having an accent, you arrogant fucker. Accents in Britain are so different, even between towns only a short distant apart (Manchester and Liverpool are only about 20 miles apart, for example, and yet there accents are nothing alike at all), that the idea of a single, correct pronunciation of a word, any word, is quite obviously madness. I don't understand why people want to be so restrictive when it comes to language. Its like they miss seeing the beauty of the whole mess. The town where I live -
- has two - vaguely - different pronunciations for some reason. Some people say mall-don (where mall rhymes with call, or wall) whereas the other half of the town say Mole-don. I get the feeling this'd anger the writer of the this piece, and wonder if he'd be compelled to march around town and tell half of us that they don't know how to pronounce the name of their own fucking town. And how the hell can you tell the difference, when spoken, between duck tape and duct tape?
My simple spelling mistake simply proves my point. The A in parliament is not pronounced.
: Where I live, it's the "i" that's not pronounced. We say Par-la-ment. Not Par-li-ment. The first two syllables sound like "Parlour"
None of these words appeal to me. This page is ridiculous because it asks you to pronounce words in meaningless ways: often vs. ofen (preferred) for example. What dialect is this? It's certainly not received pronunciation. Clarity is most important, not uniformity.
I'm sorry, Alnedra, if I wasn't clear. I meant to say that I have never heard the i pronounced as an i, nor the a as a second syllable, but just as you have written it, one unstressed syllable; as an unstressed syllable, it comes out as the same vowel as in the word "the". Though I guess you don't have an r at the end of parlour if it sounds like the beginning of parliament.
Oh yes, jb. No "r" of course. Sorry for misunderstanding. Here's a [banana] to make up.
God I love it here. I was getting all "het" up just thinking about clicking on this link because I was afraid that people would be all over this link as truth and as particularly insiteful about language. It actually made my stomach turn in annoyance before I even got past the list of "b"s. I love all you people who view it with skeptisism and recognize language for what it is: a living, evolving phenomenon that bows to wear and tear and not tradition. If a bunch of us say potahto then it's potahto dammit. Go on saying potato all you like and leave me the hell alone. And just because I would rather kill myself than say pop instead of soda, I respect the fluidity and flexibility of language enough not to shoot you when you do. Also, what languagehat said.
Say that dang ol' hip that'll b'ol . . dictionaryman get talkin' people all evuhwhichway tell you whut'n them'll like, like 'at fantastippotomus man heh heh a'iight. /yup
Ya'll lis'n up! 'Round thez parts, barb wire IS bobwy'r. 'An don'chew fergit it! dam' furriners
I get the feeling this'd anger the writer of this piece, and wonder if he'd be compelled to march around town and tell half of us that they don't know how to pronounce the name of their own fucking town.
Ain't it the truth!
This is (part of) what makes language interesting and fun. It is both art and science. In 1979 when I was 14 mom and me went on a trip to Spain and drove all of the Spanish Mediterranean. Driving from breakfast to lunch the pronunciation for "Fanta Orange" changed so much as to elicit a look of utter confusion from the waiter. I thought it was charming and fun. However, when the day comes for me to be moon-bound on my lunar vacation, I sincerely hope the lunar traffic controllers can