People who insist on mispronouncing words

[li]co-worker pronounces “fiance” as fee-ans (last syllable as in “finance”)[/li][li]co-worker pronounces “concerto” as con-sir-to[/li][li]co-worker pronounces “LAN” as land[/li][li]friend pronounces “router” as roo-ter (the network thingy)[/li][/ol]
I guess 1 & 2 are in the “I will not be pretentious at any cost” club.
3 is bizarre
4 is debatable. Route can be pronounced root or rowt. But in my neck of the woods nobody (except one friend) pronounces router as rooter.

Why baffles me is how they can hear everyone they meet pronouncing it in a standard way yet they hang on to their unique variation. Like “fiance” - a common word you will hear a million times in your lifetime, yet despite 100% consistency in everyone else’s pronunciation this person ends up with a strange mispronunciation.


I once had to deal professionally with a woman who called a computer a computter. Her organization was responsible for providing tax data for our school district, so the word came up many times when we were going over the reports.

I had many arguments with her about her programming results. One time I noticed she had indicated “CFU” beside several accounts that did not balance. This was a finished report that would go to our school Board. When I asked what CFU stood for, she said, “Computter fuck up”.

I wanted to stab her eyes out when she said that word. Computter…not the other one. :smiley:

That lady thought it was cute, and did it deliberately. My best friend, on the other hand, always pronounced Wal-Mart as Wal-Mark. She didn’t do it on purpose and seemed not to realize her error. I have no idea why she did this, as she pronounced all other words correctly.

Burff-day for birthday

“Computter” makes me cringe. I hate when adults have cutesy pronunciations for words.

Are you sure she wasn’t doing it on purpose? Back when Kmart was more ubiquitous, I occasionally heard people call it “Kmark.” (This might have been a regional thing; I grew up in Texas.) I always assumed this was just a cutesy nickname, sort of like calling Target “Tar-ZHEY.”

My wife once had a boss who (in ignorance, not to be funny) pronounced “essential” as “e-sensual”. That cracked us up so now we always pronounce it that way to each other.

Other words we intentionally mispronounce to each other:

foliage -> foilage
prescription -> perscription
Alzheimer’s -> old timer’s

ETA: Not exactly the same thing, but we both constantly call our daughter “Tammy” even though that’s not even close to her actual name. She’s probably going to start thinking we have old timer’s disease.

The solution to your problem might be to stop hanging around with Londoners :smiley:

I’m pretty sure she was unaware of her pronunciation. She grew up in Baltimore; we were in Texas when we were friends. We often joked around calling Target “Tar-ZHEY” and Penney “Jacques Pen-NAY.” She never stressed the “mark” in Wal-Mark or changed her manner of speaking in any way when she said it.

I just remembered that my brother grew up pronouncing musician as “mu-jish-un”. And he became one! Knowing him, he probably spent hours and hours pronouncing it correctly until the old habit was extinguished forever.

I work with several ESL people who pronounce Wednesday exactly like it is spelled instead of the Americanized “wends-day”. Very jarring to the ears.

Pronunciation aside, it is my estimate that at least 70% of the population does not know the difference between fiancé and fiancée.

[quote=“K364, post:1, topic:691471”]

[li]co-worker pronounces “fiance” as fee-ans (last syllable as in “finance”)[/li][/QUOTE]

“Fi-nanc-ee”, as in I was the financer & she, as the beneficiary of my $, was the financee. :smack: :frowning:

Sorry, but when I read this I remembered this.

Is she pronouncing it correctly? :smiley:

I doubt this is a factor in the OP’s scenario, but on this side of the pond:
Router (networking) is pronounced ‘rooter’
Router (woodworking) is pronounced the other way.

co-worker pronounces “fiance” as fee-ans (last syllable as in “finance”)

Wrong, but possibly understandable. For instance, maybe the person has heard the words fiance and fiancee spoken, and seen them written down and not really made the connection. I could understand someone thinking fiance was pronounced that way and fiancee was pronounced the other way. But if it is an honest mistake, it’s something that should be correctable pretty easily.

**co-worker pronounces “concerto” as con-sir-to

Again, understandable it someone doesn’t realize it comes from Italian. It should be fixed easily when explained. If someone just doesn’t want to sound pretentious, I don’t see how it’s pretentious to use the proper word for it and instead sound like an idiot. I’m all for not using large words when smaller words are as good or better, but in a case like this, it’s the only appropriate word.

co-worker pronounces “LAN” as land

To be fair, I work in computers, and the first time I heard LAN, I thought it was land too, but that was also many years ago and I was a kid at the time. Frankly, I think the term is widespread enough these days, particularly in a business setting where it might be used more than once in a blue moon, that it’s hard to justify someone saying it consistently enough to be noticed as being wrong and not getting corrected.

friend pronounces “router” as roo-ter (the network thingy)

While I can understand the idea of “rooter”, I think their logic is flawed. Around here, I often hear both “rowt” and “root” for “route”, but they’re used in different contexts. When I hear “rowt”, it can be used as both a verb and a noun, but “root” is ALWAYS a noun. Around here, you might actually hear a statement like “I’d suggest that you “rowt” around “root” 7 to avoid all the construction.” In that sense, a router is performing an action, like so many other nouns that -er, so it should be pronounced like the verb. You don’t say “advicer”, you say “advisor” because an advisor advises with advice. A “rowter” “rowts” internet packets of “roots”/“rowts”. Now, maybe that’s just a regionalism, but I’ve still never heard “root” used as a verb.

I apparently “misprounce” things myself. I’ve been told a few times that it’s weird that I say the L in “folk”, particularly in reference to folk music. I also say Wednesday more like “wednsday” than “wenzday”, which is how I often hear it, but I don’t think I’ve heard any complaints.

I used to be engaged to someone who spoke English as a second language, and she had some words that struck me as odd, like “iron” was said “i-run”. I don’t really blame anyone like that, though, especially since it’s not deliberate.
As for ones that really get me:

Harbinger - Said as “hairbringer”. I’m really baffled here, as I can sort of see saying “har-bing-er” rather than “har-bin-jer” but where do two extra Rs come from? Worse, I’ve heard this from at least two or three people, and they insist on continuing to say it even after being corrected.

Pronunciation - Said as “pronounciation”. I think it’s just the unintended irony in not being about to properly pronounce pronunciation that drives me nuts. In that sense, it makes words like pronunciation and enunciation heterological and mispronunciation autological.

I get the impression at times that some people come across words while reading that they understand the meaning of, without ever checking the dictionary (or elsewhere) to see how they’re pronounced (by people who read dictionaries at least).


Subtle = sub-tull
Gunshy = gun-shee
Segue = seeg or seeg-ee ( I was guilty of this one myself – on the air!)

I’ll think of nine others as soon as I hit Submit Reply!

There are people who think they are funny by pronouncing “coincidence” as “kawinkydink.”

My Texan grandmother used to say “Woolsworth”, which I thought was her own personal form of mispronunciation. Then I heard the store manager in O Brother Where Art Thou? pronounce it the same way, and I realized it must be more widespread than I thought.

Not a mispronouciation, but I giggle when people say ruh-COON for raccoon.

Does he ever talk about people who drownded? :smiley: