8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today

By | March 12, 2014
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8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today

Think hyperbole rhymes with Super Bowl? Don’t worry, it could be the start of something beautiful

Someone I know tells a story about a very senior academic giving a speech. Students shouldn’t worry too much, she says, if their plans “go oar-y” after graduation. Confused glances are exchanged across the hall. Slowly the penny drops: the professor has been pronouncing “awry” wrong all through her long, glittering career.

Not a nadder any more. Photograph: Natural England/PA

We’ve all been there. I still lapse into mis-CHEE-vous if I’m not concentrating. This week some PR whizzes working for a railway station with an unusual name unveiled the results of a survey into frequently garbled words. The station itself is routinely confused with an endocrine gland about the size of a carrot (you can see why they hired PRs). Researchers also found that 340 of the 1000 surveyed said ex-cetera instead of etcetera, while 260 ordered ex-pressos instead of espressos. Prescription came out as perscription or proscription 20% of the time.

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3 thoughts on “8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today

  1. kiwibarb

    This kind of email appeals to me, as does anything concerning words and language. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Melane

    A couple more that drive me crazy is when someone uses the term unthaw when they are referring to defrosting something and the other is the irregardless, which is not even a word and it is used all the time.

    Reply

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