I’ve had the pleasure of living around the United States- on the East coast, the South, the Midwest, and the West; some people say they can even hear a British English accent when I speak. Hmm? I grew up with one grandma speaking with a thick Southern accent, the other had a Midwestern accent and called the sofa a “davenport.” I call soft drinks “pop” and gym shoes are “tennis shoes.” I find it interesting to hear the various words we use around our country and the pronunciations for words we use on a daily basis that are actually incorrect. So today, let’s have a little fun and step back into the classroom to take a look at some commonly mispronounced words.
almond: The “L” is always silent! Who knew? Say, “ah-mund” not “all-mund.”
bury: It is pronounced just like berry, not “burr-ri.”
dessert: If you say, “dizz-urt” you’re correct. It’s not pronounced “des-ert” like the dry barren land.
coupon: The correct pronunciation is “Koo-pon” (pon as in pawn). It is often mispronounced as “koo-pun” (pronunciation of u as in sun).
cocoa: It should be pronounced as “koh-koh,” not “koh-koh-wa.”
electoral: We’ve been saying: e-lek-TOR-al; say: e-LEK-tor-al.
mischievous: We’ve been saying: miss-CHEE-vee-us; pronounce it: MISS-che-vus.
realtor: We’ve been saying: REE-la-tur; it’s actually pronounced: REEL-tur.
sherbet: Do you say: SHER-bert; oops! I do! The true pronunciation is: SHER-bet.
often: The “T” is silent, although you may still see heated debates surrounding the "T." Often rhymes with coffin.
ideal: While ideal is not necessarily a commonly mispronounced word, it is a word that has a regional variance in usage. Ideal is NOT conventionally a synonym for idea, though sometimes it is used that way. Here’s how Webster’s Dictionary defines these two words:
Ideal-an honorable or worthy principle or aim
Idea-existing as a mental image or in fancy or imagination only
It’s easy to get sucked in to the region we live in and pick-up verbal habits of the people by whom we’re surrounded. So, pay attention to the words you use and their pronunciation as you leave your mark on today’s youth.