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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Red Marker Blogathon -2

In this post I would like to look at Frequently Mispronounced Words

Bury- Is pronounced as Berry rather than Burry - a lesson I learnt in class 10 - which was still a little too late for me perhaps! And since I do not bury the hatchet as often as I use the word Desserts (Dizerts) it took me very less time to get used to the right way to pronounce desserts because I had more practice with that word

Faux Pas- It is not like a fox passing but Fo Pa

Caveat Emptor- Not straight at all- Kaviat Emtore

Passe- Don't let it pass until it is said as Passay

Tortoise, Porpoise- The Alice in Wonderland silly Pun-rhyme says it all-

`no wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.’
`Wouldn’t it really?’ said Alice in a tone of great surprise.
`Of course not,’ said the Mock Turtle: `why, if a fish came
to ME, and told me he was going a journey, I should say “With
what porpoise?”

So Tortus and Porpus it is- though the teacher taught this to us in class 6, I still took time to get my tongue around this one. What they say about habits dying hard.

Jewels/ Jewelry- No jwels or jwelry- Jools and Joolry

Mauve- Doesn't pronounce as is- needs to be Mowed a bit- Mowv

Suite- Doesn't suit me at all- I like it Sweet

Excited- Eggs do excite but not here- Ekcited not Egcited

Dais- Day us or Dais not Days

Vehicle- Don't take the Ve-hi-kal - take the Vee-i-kuhl

Edited to add
How could I forget my favourite Jalapeno- Ha la peno
Take a look at this site- you can just roll your mouse over a word to hear the right pronunciation


Anonymous said...

most of the words that you've picked aren't English...the blog is about the English language not Mexican or French or Italian etc etc. not knowing French,Spanish or Mexican I guess it's ok if you've an incorrect pronunciation. I don't think people are expecting everyone to know 20 different languages to be able to pronounce them correctly.

itchingtowrite said...

anon- 4 out of 9 don't qualify as most. and anyway read the rules on Sue's blog- she says any language.

Anonymous said...

oh ok sorry if the rules says any language..I guess I was too lazy to read all the rules in Sue's blog..but then how am I supposed to be able to pronounce Mexican, French or any other language I'm not acquainted with?

Itchingtowrite said...

faux pas and jalapeno, passe are common words used by people speaking english...

Anonymous said...

They might be common words used by people speaking english but I personally find it difficult to pronounce them correctly if I wasn't taught how to pronounce them :)

Itchingtowrite said...

LOL- correct.. that's why we r doing these posts...
u know.. one shud always be open to new learning
its fun...
esp if its something that interests u. grammar interests me so i enjoyed doing these blogathons. now tell me to do something on sports- i will go poof

Anonymous said...

of course I'm open to learn new things :) I wasn't saying why you're doing this but I was just telling you that it's not easy for everyone to pronounce words which are not familiar to them..that's it, and you on and bring more..I'll be happy and thankful to learn :)
take care and have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

...the other way to speak english without a desi accent is to pronounce P, T, K as Ph, Th and Kh respectively...a very simple trick!!

Also, 'o' needs to be pronounced as 'au' 'now' should be pronounced as nau.

Similarly 'Phase' shld be pronounced as 'feiz'.

One may refer to Daniel Jones better known as the Bible of English language.

And, yes 'pronounce' pronounciation is actually 'pronunce'/'pronunciation'

Anonymous said...

Oh i forgot to mention the most frequently abused pronounciation..and that is 'fuel'..the correct pronounciation is 'feul' and not the other way round.

and here's a small list of words frequently pronounced wrongly --

1. around/about: araund/abaut
2. although: olthough
3. away: awey
4. again: agen
5. their: thei..'r' shld be silent same goes for for...its 'fo'

Itchingtowrite said...

thanks Anon!!

Sue said...

I learnt a useful rule in French class: when ‘s’ is sandwiched between vowels, it hardens to ‘z’. So desert is “dezert” and desserts are “desserts”

Another rule of the thumb was to leave out the last consonant in words. So faux pas becomes ‘faw pa’.

Passe is easy to understand when you know that it’s a French word and is spelt with an accent on the last e.

Suite, also French, follows the French rules of pronunciation, not English ones.

Mauve is pronounced exactly as it is spelt – with a sound of the ‘u’. So, as you said, “mawve”.

Anon -- I was taught to say 'pronounce' and 'pronunciation' as I spell them.

Anonymous said...

Thats not correct..may refer to Daniel Jones!

Speaking english with a proper accent comes with the ability to move ones lower jaw while talking. And, there shld be a space of two fingers between your teeth while you speak english.

A simple exercise is to put two fingers inside your mouth and try reading as clearly as possible. and, then read without the will notice a marked improvement in accent, clarity and throw.

try it out and let me know!!

Sue said...

You know, it's difficult to hold a serious conversation with an nameless being. I have a person trolling my blog at this moment so I'm a bit allergic to the anon business. Why don't you give yourself a handle so we can continue this discussion?

Jerry said...


Fair enough but let me caution you that lack the depth of understanding or the insight that you and ITW have in common

Sue said...

Jerry -- You know, I don't think I understand you at all.

Sue said...

Jerry -- I think I got you now. Don't worry, Itchy and I make plenty of mistakes of our own!