It seems pretty straight forward that most people would like to appear intelligent. A great way to not appear intelligent is to mispronounce words, phrases and cliches. You might be extremely smart–even a book worm, but could you be doing it wrong? Keep reading to see our collection of words & phrases you might be saying incorrectly:
There are two main reasons that people usually mispronounce words: they grew up hearing it incorrectly, or they’ve only ever read the word and rarely had to use it. In either case, there are a lot of a resources available to help with either.
For example, the word beaux is a French word we often use in English. If you’d only ever read the word, you might think it was pronounced “byewks.” In French, however, the combination -eaux is pronounced “oh.” That means beaux is pronounced like “boh.”
It’s easy to see how this could be confusing, considering there are many ways in English to spell the sound “oh:”
- -ough like “though”
- -ow like “low”
- -oe like “toe”
- -o like “condo”
- –ou- like “soul”
- -ew like “sew”
- -oah like “woah”
English is hard!
Other commonly mispronounced words are library (please do not say “libary”), nuclear (nuc-lee-er, not nuc-u-ler), supposedly (not supposably), and tons of others!
- Irregardless is not a word. Regardless is the word. Irregardless means to disregard what you’re already disregarding, which is a double negative and will make you sound silly.
- Expecially, or exscaped are not words. Especially or Escaped are the words. Pronounce it with an s, not an x and you will not sound silly.
- “Could of” is not the phrase. “Could have” is the phrase. Just because you pronounce it a certain way does not mean it’s spelled that way.
Other phrases that are commonly said wrong are:
- “All intents and purposes,” not “all intensive purposes”
- “I couldn’t care less,” not “I could care less.” <—- Major pet peeve
- “All of a sudden,” not “all of the sudden”
We get it, it’s hard! We’ve all had our problems with homonyms (their, there, they’re, etc), but there is hope! Dictionary websites will often have a little speaker icon next to their words that you can press to hear the correct pronunciation. If that doesn’t work, you can always learn IPA (international phonetic alphabet), which are the funky characters next to the words on the dictionary websites. You can also ask someone who would know!
Featured Image: Denise Coronel