Thursday, October 24, 2013


Just when you think that you know everything, you are proved wrong. With a few exceptions, my reading material is more intelligent than my conversational vocabulary and when I was younger, it was fairly common that I would mispronounce a word that I frequently read but hardly ever spoke out loud.  Amusingly, some of my friends thought that I was using exotic or foreign words when I was simply mispronouncing common words.

For example, I used to mispronounce gross but everyone thought that I was speaking French. Then there was my best friend who spent four years telling me about her cleavlage before I realized that she wasn't trying to be cute.  There are also words that I simply can't get right.  I can never say drawer without sounding unnatural. It is either slow like molasses: draw-wer, or unintelligible: droor.

It's been so long since I can remember being corrected that I was floored by a recent discovery.  Remuneration.  I am pretty sure that I have never heard it pronounced correctly and when I discovered my mistake after being caught out by a spell checker, I tried to say it out loud and couldn't.  I contacted my friend who works in HR and she confessed to me that like me, she didn't realize the word was remuneration until she started working.  Also, she pronounces it "renumeration" because trying to do it the correct way causes tongue twisting as in my case.  Interesting.

What other words cause us problems?

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