Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mispronunciations That Vix Us

Warning, I use a lot of unnecessary quotations in this post for "sole" purpose of increasing your level of comprehension of mispronounced words. I in no way, shape, or form condone rampant quotation "marks", anywhere.

Interesting – sometimes referred to as “innersting”, and often “inneresting” pronounced “inner-es-sting” but sadly, not like it is supposed to be “inter-es-sting”.

Understand – Unfortunately, some people don’t… to speak that is. Due to pure laziness, persons to remain unnamed choose to leave out important syllables and pronounce this words “unnerstand”. If you want to get you’re redneck on, try leaving off the last letter, as some are prone to, and just say “I just don’t unnerstan.” This could get really confusing if you were for instance, trying to describe something that was under a guy named Stan. “I just don’t unnerstan what’s under Stan?”. For emphasis, tack a long drawn out “shoot” on the end, pronounced “shoouit”.

Actually – sometimes mispronounced as “act tuh lee” instead of “actchoolee”, generally attributed to non-native English speakers.

Insidious – sometimes mispronounced like “deciduous” instead of “in-sid-dee-us”. While we can see where such a mistake would be made, we cannot condone the use of words one does not know the correct pronunciation of. Pronunciation: in-'si-dE-&s
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin insidiosus, from insidiae ambush, from insidEre to sit in, sit on, from in- + sedEre to sit -- more at SIT
1 a : awaiting a chance to entrap : TREACHEROUS b : harmful but enticing : SEDUCTIVE
2 a : having a gradual and cumulative effect : SUBTLE b of a disease : developing so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent

Soften – correct pronunciation is “soffen”. Most annoyingly, some persons insert a hard “T” to make it “soft-Ten”, with two “t’s”, grrrrrrrr.

Salve – Pronounced “sav” with a silent “L” most people sadly hold onto the “L” and pronounce this word “salve-uh”. Pronunciation: 'sav, 'säv, 'salv, 'sälv
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sealf; akin to Old High German salba salve, Greek olpE oil flask
1 : an unctuous adhesive substance for application to wounds or sores
2 : a remedial or soothing influence or agency

Degradation – Sometimes mispronounced “degration”, as in, “there’s a degration of the English language going on and nobody notices”.

Comfterble (cum-fer-tble)
Usage: Jeans that were comfterble before Thanksgiving are not quite so comfterble afterwards. Sweat pants are the comfterble choice for apres-Thanksgiving raiment.

Tangentally (tang-gent-tallee) – Tangentially is a word, meaning closely related; tangentally is just wrong. Pronunciation: tan-'jen(t)-sh&l
Function: adjective
1 : of, relating to, or of the nature of a tangent
2 : acting along or lying in a tangent

Anointment – “Anointing” plus “Ointment” does apparently make “anointment”. Previously thought to be a conjunction of two words making a new but not real third word, research has revealed that anointment is indeed a word:

Pronunciation: &-'noint
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French enoint, past participle of enoindre, from Latin inunguere, from in- + unguere to smear -- more at OINTMENT
1 : to smear or rub with oil or an oily substance
2 a : to apply oil to as a sacred rite especially for consecration b : to choose by or as if by divine election; also : to designate as if by a ritual anointment

Probably – This word is so often butchered its spawn could almost be put in the new word category. We’ve heard “prolly” and more often “probly”, as in, the problem is probly that your parents didn’t read with you when you were young. Three syllables people, one, two, three, prob-bub-lee.

Well – I can’t be certain that anyone acktahlee uses the word anymore, since I started this list I’ve noticed its almost complete extinction. “Well”, a versatile word, pronounced only one way. Example: “The water well on my property produces 100 gallons a day.” Mostly, this is used as a conjunction of thought, such as “well, I’m not sure your assumption is correct.” Unfortunately, this word has been debased and as far as I can tell, is pronounced “whull” 99.9% of the time now. Listen, you will hear it everywhere.

We’re – See previous, what was once “wee-ur” is now simply “wur”.

For – More likely to be attributed to regional accent, but also produced via laziness, “for” becomes “fer” much, much too often.

Your/You’re – As with the previous three, the debauchery of the simple word continues. This gets shortened to the very aristocratic “yur”. “Yur intellect is astounding and leaves me completely obsoleted (see previous post of definition of obsoleted).”

The Multi-Slur – The multi-slur is when you take a bunch of words, and, being too lazy or uneducated to actually speak the English language, you just slur them altogether. Most prevalent in this category are phrases starting with the word “all”. Allzyaneed, Allzyagot, Allzweiz, Allzyouiz. Why people can’t simply say “All you need” instead of “allzyaneed” is beyond me.

Guh – Why just pronounce a “g” when you can make a “guh” sound and add an entire syllable to a word?! Beinguh, seeinguh, tryinguh, the list is endless, irksome to no end.

Ex-specially – Especially is a word, a word that does not have a “x” in it, anywhere, in any form. Nor is “ex-specially” something that used to be special.

Youst - Used is a common word. I used to own a big car, I used to know Spanish, I used to be able to pronounce used (yuzd) correctly but now just say youst instead because everyone else is and I like to be the same, like I youst to be.


  1. vix? is this a new verb to do with transforming one into a female fox? or are you just being all ironical?

  2. pronounced like soften is often. i often think i hear a lisping reference to the capital of texas, just to realize someone failed to soften the t in often.

  3. From Evan Koch via e-mail, another version of interesting, inner-resting.

  4. On a less critical note, I cringe every time I hear someone use "well" instead of "good". Hypercorrection is just as bad as saying "You played real good today, buddy." I think I acktullee prefer it when someone uses "good" incorrectly; somehow, I find it more ignorant to say "You did a really well job on that report, underling." Ugh. Every time a certain woman uses "well" incorrectly, I want to lunge across the table and strangle her - and this is a woman I like under normal circumstances!

  5. Reminds me of two words that my mother-in-law says that drive me nutty. First is her pronunciation of 'usually', which she pronounces 'use-ally' as if there's no first letter u in it. The other, which is a similar thing, is 'shrimp' which comes out as 's'rimp' or sometimes 'suh-rimp'. Ugh.