Say what?

Mispronounced words?

Where? (aka, Who me?)

You might be surprised.

To-MAH-to, po-TAH-to.

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?



Photo by allen watkin via Wikimedia Commons

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

Either (Neither)?

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.

Urge to Nest

Need a little vernal vocab to impress your friends?

Tweet this:

nidificate (NID-u-fi-cate)

Meaning: to build a nest

As in:

Photo courtesy

It’s REAL.

Designed by OGE CreativeGroup as “a fusion of furniture and playground,” the Giant Birdsnest is pure farmgirl fantasy.

Photo courtesy

“The wooden nest is filled with highly comfortable egg-shaped sitting poofs, which allow ergonomic sitting positions and various configurations for informal meetings and social exchange,” explain creators Merav Eitan and Gaston Zahr. “The nest comes in various sizes, from a small and intimate nest for one, up to a big version, which can host 16 people at once. The soft space is a perfectly comfortable and inspiring place for resting, browsing the Web, reading, relaxing, loving, talking, briefing, discussing … Simply jump in and enjoy.”

Wondering about DIY, aren’t you.