Education

Common words that are often mispronounced

Did you know that it is not “WED-nes-day”; it is “WENZ-day”?

English is a very confusing language. Some words are written in one way and are pronounced in other. We make most of our vocabulary by habits from the school, few trips to the dictionary, basic phonetics, and lastly by watching native speakers speak words and phrases. But after all, is said and done, English still remains the most confusing language of all time. The main reason for this is that English is developed by a combination of words from Latin, French, Old Norse and many other languages. Here are some of the words that are often mispronounced.

Tenet   

There are two words that meandifferent thingsbut are pronounced the same way. A tenet is a belief, and tenet are someone who lives in a rented house or apartment. That sparks confusion. So, tenet is pronounced with one “n”, and tenet is pronounced TEN-eht.

Espresso

One of the biggest errors we make while pronouncing Espresso is we add an “x” in it. Please keep in mind that there is no “x” in it. God forbid if you pronounce it “expresso” in front of Europeans, you might not be able to impress them as you would have liked.

Kilometer

It is not “Kill-OM-it-er”. It is actually pronounced as “Kill-O-MEET-er”. While we are discussing it, it is “MEE-ter”, not “M-it-er”.

Jewellery

The most common mistake we make while pronouncing Jewellery is cutting out a syllable that, is in the word. So, it is not “JEWL-ree”, it is “JEW-ell-ree”.

Cache

No, it is not pronounced as “Cash-AY”. It is actually pronounced as “Cash”. But this mistake is quite reasonable as we tend to associate the word with “Cachet” which means prestige. This Cache means hiding or a storage space.

February

We tend to pronounce “February” like we pronounce “January”. According to Merriam-Webster, this phenomenon is known as dissimilation, where we have involuntarily dropped the first “R”. It is actually pronounced as “FEB-ru-ar-ee”.

Hyperbole

The word in no way has a sound similar to bowl in pronunciation. Instead, it is pronounced as “hy-PER-ba-lee”. A quick trivia for you, the antonym is litotes which means an extreme understanding.  Lastly, it is pronounced as “LYE-tuh-teez”.

Meme

Long long time back, when we used pictures to explain various situations, the word meant a unit of cultural transmission in the year 1976. Many times people pronounce it as they see, it is not “may-may”, it is “Meem”.

Does it feel like we were speaking the wrong English all along? We certainly do!

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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