Fun with poor pronunciation

He totally missed the incest on the ground and tripped, spunt around, and swolled up his ankle. Them goochy (Gucci??) gizmos on his phone coont save him from that!
That’s a sentence I have actually heard by a guy I work with. Pronounced just like that. Funny thing is, as wholeheartedly as he believes his pronunciations to be correct, I wholeheartedly understand him. :slight_smile:

What crazy mispronunciations or word substitutions do you come across in your regular everyday?

My dad makes up and uses incorrect words all the time.

“I am calling to **confirmate **my appointment at 3 today.”

“Let Iran have a **nucular **weapon! Everyone else has one!”

“I need to **floormat **my computer again.”

“Come outside and help me **warsh **the car”

I did not know Jenna Bush was on the Dope! (Well, this sort of Dope.)

For the new year at work, we are all getting new time recording codes.

The process of making this change is referred to, with a straight face by some, as trans-codification.

That is not a real word!

If you search on it you will see it is in common usage and carries over from other languages. It will find it’s way into an English language dictionary soon.

Holy cow! Is your dad a rural Hoosier? Because he sounds like he’d fit in with mine and all of his cronies at the coffee shop.

I had a boss once who said pacific instead of specific.
And then there’s “refudiate”.

These aren’t the prestige dialect, but they’re not incorrect, either.

So did I. And he said it all the fucking time. How fucking hard is it to listen to what other people say, and pronounce it that way? Repudiate/refudiate I can get someone mishearing, but ssspecific?! Ssspecifically?! It’s not exactly a subtle difference.

It was one of the many reasons I wanted to punch him, and one of the legacies I left behind was pointing it out to my colleagues, who found it as irritating and smirk-inducing as I did.

Some people (usually men) just have a mental tic that makes them incapable of correct pronunciation. I’m thinking of my dad here.

Two words that my dad can’t pronounce that drive me nuts, but I’ve learned to live with it:


In American English, most of us say it “Kah-fay.” My dad has this weird thing where he pronounces it “KUH-fay.” It’s a bit difficult to express in text, but it sounds unnatural as hell. My mom, my brother and I all sorta go :dubious: every time we hear it. We try to correct him, but he just says, "Yeah! That’s what I said! “KUH-fay!”


As in a name. One of my good friends in college was named Juno. She was Costa Rican. So she pronounced it, to these American English ears, as “Hoo-No”. Dad met her several times, consistently addressed her as “Joo-No.”

“No, dad, it’s ‘Hoo-No’”

“Yeah, that’s what I said! ‘Joo-No’!”

“The Doctor says it’s infectionated.”

When I was studying Othello at school, my mother would ask how I was getting on with “O’-thello”. She pronounced like the O in “got”, rather than a schwa, which is how we pronounce it in England. I tried to get her to say it correctly over and over again. Eventually she got the message but went the wrong way and now says “OR-thello”.

Heard on a bus once between two old ladies:

Old Lady #1: 'Ello Enid, still got that sore throat?
Old Lady #2: Not any more Mabel, the doctor put me on them anti-garottics.

Is the animal related to a mule a ‘dunk-ey’ (rhymes with monkey) or a ‘don-key’ (think Shrek)?

In honor of my former coworker, I ‘axe’ this question. He spoke correctly except for this one word, which made me want to axe him…into tiny little pieces. :eek:

My ex-husband mispronounces “pronunciation.” (No matter how many times I reminded him of the correct version from 1996-2004, he still says “pronounce-iation.”) It wouldn’t matter, except that he works in broadcast, and sounds like an idiot. Of course, he also thinks that no one knows he wears a toupee…

My stepfather insisted on pronouncing ‘hiccough’ as ‘hee-coff’. Although why it’s pronounced ‘hiccup’ is a mystery. He also said ‘pee-NUT butter’, with the accent as indicated and as three words.

Ah I love it. These are great.

I’ll never understand what part of a person’s brain isn’t quite working right to make them hear one thing and repeat it as something wholly different. Or to pronounce it properly when corrected, but then to resume the wrong pronunciation in their normal speech.

I just can’t get over “spunt”. I think it’s like the past tense of “spun”, which is already past tense…but at least it’s not “spunded”. He probably thinks that sounds stupid.

Get over it people. Nobody owns languages. If you understand what they mean, then they are communicating effectively.

Ugh - I hate it that everytime there is a thread about language, someone has to come in to say something to the effect that language is made by consensus, there are no absolute rules, bla bla bla. Fine - lay off that shtick already, no one needs it. If your pronunciation somehow indicates to people that you are dumb then you may be communicating effectively but you also may not like the effect you are getting.

Like a lot of people who read above my grade level, I mispronounced words because I read them before I heard them/used them.

Hors d’oeuvre - somehow I pronounced this in a rhyme as 'whores D vore

My coworker often talks about MacDonald’s (emphasizing the Mac, rather than just pronouncing it with the schwa).