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What words do you knowingly pronounce incorrectly?

 
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A language or dialect might have its own pronunciation of a word, and some of us try to be correct. Are there any words that, for whatever reason, you pronounce incorrectly? I don't mean incorrect based on its roots, nor how it ought to be pronounced. Just, the lexicographers have codified it one way, and you, consciously, choose another.

I know of two: Archetype and Corollary. The former is officially has three syllables, of which i ignore the middle one. For the latter, i prefer the British pronunciation. In both cases though, i pronounced the word as i thought it should be and at some point, i was corrected. While i sometimes pronounce the latter the "correct" way, i utterly reject that of the former.
 
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I use archetypes to produce artefacts. So.... ?
 
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And how do you pronounce corollary? Which of the vowels are pronounced, which silent, and which sound as shwas? Which syllables do you accent?
 
Tim Holloway
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Well, there's "corr'ly", "corr'rly", "corro-lry" probably can move accent around or fuzz out the "r"s entirely. Don't even need schwas.
 
Brian Tkatch
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:And how do you pronounce corollary? Which of the vowels are pronounced, which silent, and which sound as shwas? Which syllables do you accent?


US UK
 
Campbell Ritchie
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But how do you say it?
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Tim Holloway wrote:. . . Don't even need schwas.

You need two shwas and to pronounce both R.
 
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Not sure if this can be called in 100% as incorrect pronunciation, but I say "porsche" when speaking English the same way as original German pronunciation.

Example of English pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS3QHVs4aDQ&feature=youtu.be&t=41
Example of German pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2eJj8WEctc

English pronunciation sounds like "porsch", which drives me nuts.

 
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GIF. It should follow the pattern of "gift", "gimmick", "gill" or "girl", not "giraffe", "giant" or "ginger". ...regardless of what the inventor of the file format said. It's a Graphics Interchange Format, not a Giraffics Interchange Format.
 
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Pika.

You may never have heard of the word pika, but it refers to a small rabbit-like animal found in the mountains of western North America and elsewhere. So without any context you might choose PIE-ka or PEE-ka to pronounce it. You'll notice that Wikipedia opts for the former, and so does my dictionary (the Canadian Oxford Dictionary). However almost all of the people I meet in the aforesaid mountains opt for the latter, and so I've changed my pronunciation to conform with theirs.

Whether I'm now pronouncing it incorrectly is open to debate, as dictionaries are supposed to codify the way that careful users of the language actually use it, but at any rate I'm rejecting what official sources say.

Note:

Wikipedia also says "The name "pika" appears to be derived from the Tungus piika" which I think means PEE-ka, although my standard web search (<30 seconds) didn't turn up any suitable Tungus language information. But that doesn't count for much because it's normal for English to ignore the pronunciation of words borrowed from other languages and apply its own pronunciation.
 
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Nope its not mispronouncing, its an accent. Sometimes we Geordies have to speak to the soft southerners and so the accent has to be toned down a bit, not enough to let them understand fully of course.
 
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Is Geordie an accent? I thought it was a full-blown dialect.

I remember one visit I paid to N'cle about twenty years ago, thinking that the way those people were speaking, yes, Geordie is another language in its own right. Then I realised they were speaking French.
And what about Mackem? We had a burst water main about ¼mile from here about 5 years ago necessitating a ten‑foot‑wide hole in the road. One of the builders was really upset because he comes from Hartlepool and people thought he was a Mackem. Proves that even being a Monkey Hanger is better than that.
 
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Peter Rooke wrote:Nope its not mispronouncing, its an accent. Sometimes we Geordies have to speak to the soft southerners and so the accent has to be toned down a bit, not enough to let them understand fully of course.



My father first came to the UK in 1960 - he landed at Dover, went to Knightsbridge, only to find from a flatmate that the friend who he had come to stay with had left and moved to Newcastle. So my dad wrote him a letter at the address he had left with the flatmate, and he replied back, telling my dad to come to Newcastle as they had job opportunities for bus conductors, so my father moved to Newcastle.

Trying to understand Geordies can be tasking for the best of us, imagine being a foreigner and trying to understand what they are saying!
 
Ahmed Bin S
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Adam Scheller wrote:Not sure if this can be called in 100% as incorrect pronunciation, but I say "porsche" when speaking English the same way as original German pronunciation.

Example of English pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS3QHVs4aDQ&feature=youtu.be&t=41
Example of German pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2eJj8WEctc

English pronunciation sounds like "porsch", which drives me nuts.



That's really funny! My dad spent a lot of the 60s working and living in Germany before marrying my mum and coming back to the UK. When we were kids, every time someone used to say Porsche the English way, my dad immediately used to interrupt and say "no, no, you're saying it wrong, it's <would say it the German way>". I guess it also drove him nuts!
 
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Some people in this country do know the correct pronunciation of Porsche. But that is excusable since Porsche isn't an English word. You cannot say the same for “harass”.
 
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Forté

And, I'm ashamed to admit: Febuary.

Winston
 
Winston Gutkowski
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One for any Vancouverites out there: "Bew-rard" for Burrard.

Natives pronounce it like it's got 7 'r's and only one vowel.

Winston
 
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Alyoominyum.

You don't say "Pentum" do you?

Winston
 
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Sharapova - which I'm pretty sure is actually correct. I wonder if she hates hearing Sharapova as much as I do?

Winston
 
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:Alyoominyum.


Interesting one, I just looked this up. Apparently Humphrey Davy, the British chemist who discovered the metal, initially called it Alumium, but then decided on Aluminum. Someone else (uncredited) subsequently decided Aluminium was better and thereafter two spellings prevailed, one held sway in Britain, the other in the US. I always thought the Americans had modified the word but in actual fact they are using Davy's original and the Brits use the modified form.
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Steffe Wilson wrote:Someone else (uncredited) subsequently decided Aluminium was better and thereafter two spellings prevailed, one held sway in Britain, the other in the US. I always thought the Americans had modified the word but in actual fact they are using Davy's original and the Brits use the modified form.


True, although his original original - Alumium - actually makes the most sense, since it was a derivative of 'Alum'. Most anglicized metal names (including the other 3 isolated by Davy) use -ium, with only 4 that I know of using the nominative -um: Platinum, Molybdenum, Tantalum and Lanthanum.

Winston
 
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:Sharapova - which I'm pretty sure is actually correct. I wonder if she hates hearing Sharapova as much as I do?



There's no point in trying to pronounce Russian names the way the Russians do. When English-speakers say "Oleg" they make four different pronunciation errors in Russian, all in one short word.

At least, I assume that by "correct" you meant "the way a Russian would say it"?
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:There's no point in trying to pronounce Russian names the way the Russians do. When English-speakers say "Oleg" they make four different pronunciation errors in Russian, all in one short word.


In Soviet Russia, words pronounce you!


(Russian reversal)
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:There's no point in trying to pronounce Russian names the way the Russians do.


Why not? AFAIK there aren't any sounds in Russian that don't exist in English - and personally, I find Sharapova easier to say.

Edward Heath, on the other hand, was an absolute nightmare for France-Inter announcers, because French has neither an aspirated 'H' sound, nor 'th'.
So he was 'Monsieur Ees'.

'Madame Tatchère' was quite fun too.

Winston
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Brian Tkatch wrote:In Soviet Russia, words pronounce you!


Whatever faults they had (and they were legion), they still produced the best national anthem ever. And it just doesn't sound the same without 'Savyetski Sayuz'.

Winston
 
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:Forté

And, I'm ashamed to admit: Febuary.

Winston



Making that first 'r' silent is an accepted variation. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/February
 
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:Why not? AFAIK there aren't any sounds in Russian that don't exist in English - and personally, I find Sharapova easier to say.



Sure there are. There's the Ы character for one, a vowel which doesn't exist in English. Then there's Щ, which is usually approximated by "shch" in English but isn't really like that. Besides, Russian accent patterns are unpredictable, who would have guessed that they would accent Ca-na-da on the second syllable?

And don't forget that Russian spellings reflect Russian pronunciation rules reasonably well but applying English pronunciation rules to them doesn't necessarily come out right. For example there's a Russian pronunciation rule which makes "o" in unstressed position sound more like "a" or "uh". So if you're going to say Sha-RAP-ova remember the last syllable doesn't sound like "ova", it sounds more like "ava".
 
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Paul Clapham wrote:There's the Ы character for one, a vowel which doesn't exist in English.



*Some* English speakers have a version of Ы. The most likely scenario is an unstressed schwa between two /z/ sounds. So, the second syllable of "roses," "Joneses," etc.
 
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I found that foreign surnames are very often pronounced using local language rules. So our "Sharapova" will be pronounced differently by speakers of various countries. Pronunciation of "Lamborghini" differs in various languages as well. Some pronounce the "G" as in "greg" or as in "gin".

As today we have Einstein's birthday, I will use his name as another example. German pronunciation sounds like "Einshtein", while English speakers pronounce the "s" in English way. By the way this is another pronunciation that drives me nuts
German: https://youtu.be/QhefErib7aY?t=52
English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyK5SG9rwWI
 
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Adam Scheller wrote:I found that foreign surnames are very often pronounced using local language rules. So our "Sharapova" will be pronounced differently by speakers of various countries. Pronunciation of "Lamborghini" differs in various languages as well. Some pronounce the "G" as in "greg" or as in "gin".


Heh. Take a try at my last name.
 
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Brian Tkatch wrote:

Adam Scheller wrote:I found that foreign surnames are very often pronounced using local language rules. So our "Sharapova" will be pronounced differently by speakers of various countries. Pronunciation of "Lamborghini" differs in various languages as well. Some pronounce the "G" as in "greg" or as in "gin".


Heh. Take a try at my last name.



https://adamscheller.com/Tkatch.ogg ?
 
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Adam Scheller wrote:

Brian Tkatch wrote:Heh. Take a try at my last name.


https://adamscheller.com/Tkatch.ogg ?



That what i'm told by Ukrainians. Though, i pronounce it wrong myself.
 
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Brian Tkatch wrote:That what i'm told by Ukrainians. Though, i pronounce it wrong myself.


I have noticed that many countries allow to naturalize spelling of surnames to make it sound natural in local language. Your surname looks like US-naturalized name of some Slavic country, so this is why I chose this pronunciation Ukrainian spelling would be Tкач or Tkacz using Latin characters.
 
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Adam Scheller wrote:

Brian Tkatch wrote:That what i'm told by Ukrainians. Though, i pronounce it wrong myself.


I have noticed that many countries allow to naturalize spelling of surnames to make it sound natural in local language. Your surname looks like US-naturalized name of some Slavic country, so this is why I chose this pronunciation Ukrainian spelling would be Tкач or Tkacz using Latin characters.


It's the former, i am told, because it's a word. I pronounce tea'catch, because that's how i was taught. Others with the same name (no relation) don't pronounce the "t" at all. And, it's always fun when a Russian or Ukrainian stops asks me if i know what the name means. FWIW, at the office, i sit across from an erstwhile Ukrainian.
 
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Brian Tkatch wrote:It's the former, i am told, because it's a word. I pronounce tea'catch, because that's how i was taught. Others with the same name (no relation) don't pronounce the "t" at all. And, it's always fun when a Russian or Ukrainian stops asks me if i know what the name means. FWIW, at the office, i sit across from an erstwhile Ukrainian.


Yes, Tкач is a name of profession (weaver). I guess you was taught this pronunciation because it's simpler to pronounce in US. I pronounce my surname differently depending with who I am talking to. Original southern-Germany pronunciation sounds like "shella", so this is what I use in Germany and Austria. In Switzerland I say "sheller" (with Russian-like hard R) because this is the way they would pronounce it (but they would understand original German pronunciation anyway I believe). To English speakers I pronounce "sheller" the English way. I always adapt pronunciation of my name to make other people life easier
 
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Brian Tkatch wrote:Heh. Take a try at my last name.



Here in Canada we've had a few hockey players called "Tkachuk" and they seem to pronounce their names "Ka-CHOOK" or "Ka-CHUCK".
 
Winston Gutkowski
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Michael Matola wrote:*Some* English speakers have a version of Ы. The most likely scenario is an unstressed schwa between two /z/ sounds. So, the second syllable of "roses," "Joneses," etc.


Or the 'i' in swimming; or the 'o' or 'e' in women.

Paul Clapham wrote:Then there's Щ, which is usually approximated by "shch" in English but isn't really like that.


It's not far off. And my dad's reply, when faced with a similar complaint about Polish from Brits ("all them 'sh's and 'ch's; can't make 'ead or tail of 'em"), was "Nonsense. You can say Ashchurch can't you?".

About the only letter sounds that aren't native to English are 'X' and 'Ж', but we've imported the former from Scottish (loch) and the latter from French (mirage).
I will admit that 'ств…' ('stvo/stva') is a bit of a mouthful if you're not used to it.

Besides, Russian accent patterns are unpredictable, who would have guessed that they would accent Ca-na-da on the second syllable?


True, but I remember my teacher telling me that it's often on the penultimate syllable if there are more than 2, so it would have been my first guess. But you're right, you basically have to learn them as you go - but that's no different from English really.

Winston
 
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Adam Scheller wrote:As today we have Einstein's birthday, I will use his name as another example. German pronunciation sounds like "Einshtein", while English speakers pronounce the "s" in English way. By the way this is another pronunciation that drives me nuts


One that used to drive my dad nuts was "Volks-vahgen" - usually committed by Brits.

His rant was that If you're going to mispronounce it, at least go the whole hog like the Americans, and call it a "Volks-waggon"; otherwise get it right.

Mind you, our (Brit) track record of learning other languages is less than stellar. He used to despair of us ever finding a French teacher who didn't speak it with an English accent.

Winston
 
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Adam Scheller wrote:I found that foreign surnames are very often pronounced using local language rules. So our "Sharapova" will be pronounced differently by speakers of various countries.



And Sharapova's father's name (Sharapov) seems to be pronounced "-ov" in the Americas and "-off" in Britain.
 
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Winston Gutkowski wrote:Sharapova - which I'm pretty sure is actually correct. I wonder if she hates hearing Sharapova as much as I do?

Winston



I think you're wrong - I think the correct pronunciation is Sharadopa ...
 
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