Where? (aka, Who me?)
You might be surprised.
Don’t you wanna know?
Seriously, though …
There’s quite a queue of words that we’re likely to mispronounce on any given day.
(A sandwich spread or a prodigal poet—you might mispronounce and not even know it.)
Persnickety, you say?
Although you should know that it’s technically pernickety.
Well, it is.
Anyway, if you want to feel just a little bit smarter than you did when you woke up this morning, here’s an easy means to that end:
Don’t say: a-FLU-ent
Do say: AFF-lu-ent
Well, just watch:
Don’t say: mannaize
Do say: MAY-o-naize
Don’t say: minichur
Do say: miniachur (yup – the short “a” sound should be heard)
Don’t say: pottable
Do say: potable (long “o” is the way to go)
Don’t say: pre-STEE-jus
Do say: pre-STI-jus (short “i”)
Don’t say: respite (rhymes with despite)
Do say: respit
Seuss (as in, the good doctor of children’s literature)
Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, adopted his pen name from his German mother’s maiden name, which was properly pronounced in the native tongue as “Soice” (rhymes with voice). But, the American inclination to say “Soose” stuck, and Geisel gave in, realizing that it was potentially profitable to rhyme with another famous name in children’s lit—Mother Goose.
Don’t say: silicone
Do say: silicon
The (nope, not kidding)
Technically speaking, there are some instances when one should say “thuh” and others when this word’s pronunciation should be “thee.” According to Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, pronunciation of “the” depends on how you pronounce the word that follows it. If the following word begins with a consonant sound, you say “thuh” (as in, “thuh” farmhouse). But if the following word starts with a vowel sound, you say “thee” (as in, “thee” egg).
Thee egg and me, prestigious. Pass the mayo please.