Incorrect pronunciations that drive me crazy

Today’s post is brought to you by the resident grammar/pronunciation/spelling nazi.

Hello! Here is a (non-exhausive) list of words that are commonly mispronounced by many people, especially more so in Malaysia.

Here we go!

1. Salmon
The L in this one is silent. Pronounced as sa-muhn. Drives me insane especially when people emphasise on the L.

2. Sword
The W is silent. Pronounced as sord.

3. Medicine
3 syllables. Me-di-cine instead of med-cine.
Apparently me-di-cine is US pronunciation while med-cine is UK pronunciation! Thanks, Kritz!

4. Wednesday
2 syllables with a silent D and a silent second E. Wens-day.

5. Itinerary
5 syllables. Ay-tin-uh-ra-ry. Not itinery!

6. Film
F-il-m instead of F-luhm.

7. Facade
Fe-sahd. Not fuh-kayd.

8. Espresso
Commonly mispronounced as eXpresso instead.

9. Chicago
Shi-ka-go. Not chee-ka-go.

10. Any word with a V in it. e.g. violent, victory, very, convocation, etc.
Annoys me to hell when people pronounces their Vs as Ws. So, violent becomes wai-o-lent, victory became wic-tory, very became wary, so on and so forth.  Don’t be lazy people, it’s Vee, not Wee!

11. Gerbil
Ger as in Germany. Not ger as in girl.

12. Colonel
Kernel. Yeap, just like a corn kernel.

13. Penis
Pee-nis. Not pen-is.
Fun fact: If you are a Hunger Games fan like me, the couple name of the main characters, Peeta and Katniss, results in Pee-niss! Very unfortunate, but true.

14. Pneumonia
Silent P. Pronounced as noo-moh-nia.

15. Isle/aisle
Silent S. Both pronounced like the contraction I’ll.

16. Doubt
Silent B. Dout. Please don’t pronounce the B, please.

17. Debt
See above. Pronounced as Det.

18. Receipt
Another silent letter! This is pronounced as re-seet.

19. Plumber
Yeap, silent B again. Plum-er.

20. Kindergarten
Kin-der-gar-tn. Not kin-der-garden.

21. Tuition
You know intuition? Yeah, pronounced the same way – too-ish-un. Not tee-oo-shun.

22. Any word that starts with “TH”. I.e. third, thank you, this, think. 
Please pronounce the H. That is definitely NOT silent. Otherwise your third will turn into turd, your thank will turn into tank and we all know that isn’t good.

23. Pizza
Peet-za. Not pizz-a.

24. Forte 
When referring to your strong point. it’s pronounced as fort. Only when you’re using it in a musical context do you say for-tay.

25. Jewelry
Jewel-ry. Not jew-lery or jewel-lery.

26. Subtle
Again with the silent B. Pronounced as Suht-l.

27. Paradigm
Para-dime. Definitely not para-dig-um.

28. Awry
Uh-rai. Not aw-ri.

29. Epitome. 
Ih-pit-uh-me. Not epi-tom.

30. Draught 
Pronounced as draft, not draw-ght or drought.  Keep this in mind the next time you order your draught beer at the pub.

31. Hors d’oeuvres
Those yummy little morsels of food is pronounced as awr-durv.

32. Potpourri
Poh-poo-ree. No pot here!

33. Lingerie
Oh this one’s a classic. Lan-zhuh-ray. Guys, get it right.

34. Rendezvous

35. Genre

36. Basil
Baz-ul. Not ba-seal.

37. Foie gras

38. Market/Basket. 
Pronounced as mar-kit/bas-kit. Not mar-kat/bas-kat.

39. Still 
Malaysians tend to have a lot of problems with this one. St-ill, not st-iw.

40. Liaise 
Lee-ayz. Not lai-yuhs.

41. Steak
You will not believe how many people pronounces this as “stick” here. This is pronounced the same way as “stake”.

42. Waffle
Wa-fuhl, not way-fuhl.

43. Lasagna
G is silent. La-zahn-yuh.  NOT la-sag-nia.

44. Bolognese
Again, silent G. Bo-luh-neez. Not bol-lock-nees.

45. Abalone
4 syllables in this one. A-ba-lo-nee.

46. Restaurant 
Res-tuh-rahnt. Not res-toh-ren.

47. Pint
Pie-nt. Not pin-t.

48. Tarot 
Pronounced like taro.

49. Faux Pas
Foh-pah. Mispronouncing this is definitely a faux pas.

50. Orange
Saved the best for last! O-rinj, not o-range.  I know right? I’ve pronounced this one incorrectly too for most of my life.

So, how many are you guilty of mispronouncing?

11 thoughts on “Incorrect pronunciations that drive me crazy

  1. I lost count and I’m not even sure if I got it right or wrong.

    I only know No.10 is very significant hahaha.

    Why don’t you tell me how many I’m guilty of mispronouncing?

    • Cannot be… at least half are regularly spoken right?? Lasagna, potpourri, receipt, TUITION!, thanks, etc.

      Re: medicine, seems like you are right! I think this is a case of UK vs US English again. :\ I used to say med-suhn but my brother keeps insisting it is me-di-suhn.

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