Sunday, August 21, 2016

“30 Words Americans Can’t Pronounce Correctly”

“30 Words Americans Can’t Pronounce Correctly”
by Catey Hill

“When you want quinoa at a restaurant, do you whisper your order for fear of mispronouncing it? When you find a bunch of peonies at the florist, do you simply point to the flowers so you don’t stumble over their pronunciation? If so, you’re not alone: Quinoa and peony are among the words that Americans struggle most to pronounce, according to an analysis done by Dictionary.com. To develop this list, the website examined internal data on the number of audio plays for pronunciation that each word receives, as well as lexicographer research. Here are the top 30 words Americans struggle to pronounce:

1. affidavit [af-i-dey-vit]
2. almond [ah-muh nd, am-uh nd]
3. beget [bih-get]
4. cache [kash]
5. caramel [kar-uh-muh l, -mel, kahr-muh l]
6. coupon [koo-pon, kyoo-]
7. croissant [French krwah-sahn; English kruh-sahnt]
8. epitome [ih-pit-uh-mee]
9. espresso [e-spres-oh]
10. et cetera [et set-er-uh, se-truh]
11. façade [fuh-sahd, fa-]
12. fiery [fahyuh r-ee, fahy-uh-ree]
13. genre [zhahn-ruh; French zhahn-ruh]
14. haute [oht]
15. hyperbole [hahy-pur-buh-lee]
16. lambaste [lam-beyst, -bast]
17. mauve [mohv]
18. mischievous [mis-chuh-vuh s]
19. niche [nich]
20. peony [pee-uh-nee]
21. prerogative [pri-rog-uh-tiv, puh-rog-]
22. quinoa [keen-wah, kee-noh-uh]
23. reservoir [rez-er-vwahr, -vwawr, -vawr, rez-uh-]
24. salmon [sam-uh n]
25. sherbet [shur-bit]
26. turmeric [tur-mer-ik]
27. verbiage [vur-bee-ij]
28. Weimaraner [vahy-muh-rah-ner, wahy-, wahy-muh-rey-]
29. whet [hwet, wet]
30. Worcestershire [woo s-ter-sheer, -sher]

Not only do Americans struggle to pronounce words, they also struggle to spell them. An analysis that Google ran for MarketWatch in 2015 (based on the top questions for “how to spell” entered into Google) found that these were among the top words Americans were most confused on how to spell: Grey, canceled, definitely, pneumonia, appreciate, Hanukkah, restaurant, ninety and niece.”
Related:
"5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Pronunciation"

1 comment:

  1. The one I most often hear mispronounced even on TV by those who should know better is OFTEN which is more often OFF TEN than off-en.

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