1816: "Mispronunciation"

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1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby thunk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:42 pm UTC

Image

I pronounce epitome "EPPY-tome", but EpiPen "uh-PIE-pen".

There are self-descriptive words like these sometimes, much as there are others that are auto-antonymic.
Though humans like seeing patterns in things of course.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Flumble » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:00 pm UTC

I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at, inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby CelticNot » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:05 pm UTC

This comic, and especially the alt-text, made me twitch. I didn't realise how badly such things bothered me until now.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:07 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at, inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?
Americans do pronounce it INventory.

(Also, we pronounce "tier" to be homophonous with "tear", but not like "tear", which is a homophone with "tare".)
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby somitomi » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:08 pm UTC

Yeah, welcome to the club, pal.
Flumble wrote:I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at, inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?

Because the spelling of English words is a mess. I mean there's the word "pronounce", but the noun isn't spelled "pronounciation" for no adequate reason. Either keep the o in both, or drop it from both, you can't have your cake and eat it too...
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:10 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Flumble wrote:I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at, inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?

Americans do pronounce it INventory.

Same in the UK.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby flicky1991 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:16 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Same in the UK.

Maybe it depends where you are in the UK - I'm English and say "inVENtory". I've only ever heard "INventory" from Americans.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:21 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Mutex wrote:Same in the UK.

Maybe it depends where you are in the UK - I'm English and say "inVENtory". I've only ever heard "INventory" from Americans.

Well, South England currently in London. I'm struggling to imagine how inVENtory even sounds.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:22 pm UTC

Sneaking in complaints about pronouncing "tear" as in lachrymal vs. "tear" as in rip are hearby banned :twisted: .

Otherwise you might have to read what I've read about how to lead lead to its destination.

Better yet, come to Massachusetts, where Dorchester is "Door Chest - er" but Worcester is "woooster" , and Trapelo Road is variously "Trap-elo" or "Tra PEL o" .
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:22 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:Yeah, welcome to the club, pal.
Flumble wrote:I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at, inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?

Because the spelling of English words is a mess. I mean there's the word "pronounce", but the noun isn't spelled "pronounciation" for no adequate reason. Either keep the o in both, or drop it from both, you can't have your cake and eat it too...
Well, there is an adequate reason, namely that it isn't pronounced like "pronounce+iation". The vowel changes to a short 'u' and is spelled as such.

The same kind of sound change happens all over English, it just isn't generally accompanied by a helpful spelling change:
volcano/volcanic, grave/gravity
serene/serenity, semen/seminal
suffice/sufficient, wise/wisdom
photo/photography, oppose/opposite

Mutex wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:
Mutex wrote:Same in the UK.

Maybe it depends where you are in the UK - I'm English and say "inVENtory". I've only ever heard "INventory" from Americans.

Well, South England currently in London. I'm struggling to imagine how inVENtory even sounds.
Like the verb "invent", followed by unstressed "ory". It sounds not unlike "dispensary".
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Zinho » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:37 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at, inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?


tear vs tyre - no reason I can think of other than history
cavee-at vs caf-feet - my wife the Linguist would say that the Fs in caf-feet would likely shift to voiced Vs due to the vowels before and after. Other than that , point taken. Stolen from another language, so pronouncing it like the victims would
inVENtory vs INventory Oh, wow, SO many cases of this in the English language.

I'm pretty sure the last one is due simply to regional variation, and that there are lingusts getting their PHDs today for tracking the boundaries of the various usages. Examples from the Wikipedia:
poLICE vs POHleece
ceMENT vs CEEment
thanksGIVing vs THANKSgiving
July vs JEWlie

My favorite (missing from the Wiki) is pecan, with pronunciations of payCAHN and PEE-can. I've heard southerners talk each other into using the snootier-sounding payCAHN pronunciation by saying, "Yeah, I've got me a pee-can; I use it up in the hunting blind so I don't have to climb down to relieve myself."

Has anyone got examples where there are differences in stress between US and other countries' cadence on common words?

PS - Ninja'd by so many people regarding INventory; I'd actually expect "inVENtree" to be a more British form for this. Oh, well, I've already typed it...
Last edited by Zinho on Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:39 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby orthogon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:38 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:semen/seminal

For most people this sound change is probably a good thing: it makes it easier to talk about a "seminal work" without an unwanted mental picture of the pages being stuck together. Once you make the association it's hard to avoid the yuck factor. (I'd rather go to a lecture than a seminar for similar reasons).

gmalivuk wrote:
Mutex wrote:Well, South England currently in London. I'm struggling to imagine how inVENtory even sounds.
Like the verb "invent", followed by unstressed "ory". It sounds not unlike "dispensary".

They're different words with the same spelling (heteronyms). An inVENtory is a place where one invents things.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:39 pm UTC

So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?

I probably went five or ten years before I realized that "debacle" was not pronounced similarly to "spectacle" and "miracle". (That could have been a real DEB-uh-kul if I said it somewhere before I learned the right way.)

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:43 pm UTC

The opposite experience actually comes to mind, for me. I've seen/heard people use macabre on TV and the like, but didn't encounter it in print until a few years ago. I was reading something aloud and just pronounced it "mack-a-brr", then paused, did a double-take, and was all "Woah!".

Now I say mack-a-brr ironically.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Aiwendil » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:55 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
Mutex wrote:Same in the UK.

Maybe it depends where you are in the UK - I'm English and say "inVENtory". I've only ever heard "INventory" from Americans.


I was unfamiliar with the pronunciation with the stress on the second syllable, but it sounds delightfully like what a whimsical inventor might call his work area.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby orthogon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:02 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?

I probably went five or ten years before I realized that "debacle" was not pronounced similarly to "spectacle" and "miracle". (That could have been a real DEB-uh-kul if I said it somewhere before I learned the right way.)


It's ironic that being better-read and more learned can actually make you seem more ignorant. I have a friend who's always been a voracious reader: at college his vocabulary far outstripped the rest of us (we tested him once by opening the dictionary at random and choosing obscure words - he got every single one right) but he'd often mispronounce things. We had a good laugh at his "Don Quick-sote"; but on the other hand his pronunciation of "Genghis Khan" turned out later to be a closer approximation of the Mongolian than the normal way British English speakers say it (with two hard g's).
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:03 pm UTC

I need to get a plaque above my shop that reads "The Inventorium"

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby stopmadnessnow » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:06 pm UTC

For "Geometry" read "jommetry"?
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Flumble » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:16 pm UTC

Oops, to everyone quoting me: I messed up the stressing of inventory. Meant to say I first learned to pronounce it inVENTory and then learned most of the world says INventory.
Good to know that some places do stress the second syllable (or they have a special type of laboratory called the "invent-ory"), so I wasn't even wrong! :mrgreen:

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Keyman » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:23 pm UTC

My career has been doing inventory financing for retail dealers. Several years ago, it was for the US (VT) based subsidiary of a French-Canadian company. My boss would say 'inVENtory' control was 'maDATory'...and if we giggled, he would curse at us in what I assume was French. :?

And is it me, or is INsurance wrong?
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:26 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:Oops, to everyone quoting me: I messed up the stressing of inventory. Meant to say I first learned to pronounce it inVENTory and then learned most of the world says INventory.
Good to know that some places do stress the second syllable (or they have a special type of laboratory called the "invent-ory"), so I wasn't even wrong! :mrgreen:

My sister-in-law is American and commented that people in England pronounce "schedule" as "shedule" rather than "skedule". I responded that I'd never heard anyone pronounce it that way in my life. Within a week of that conversation I heard people here pronounce it like that, and I've heard it multiple times since.

So your post just made me think I'd been oblivious to another way people around me pronounce things.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Weeks » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:32 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
I got (and expand) about 70% of my English vocabulary by reading it before hearing it, so I am already doomed
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Zinho » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:36 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?

I probably went five or ten years before I realized that "debacle" was not pronounced similarly to "spectacle" and "miracle". (That could have been a real DEB-uh-kul if I said it somewhere before I learned the right way.)

For me that's heresy and sidereal.
heresy: I saw "HEAR-say" instead of "HAIR-uh-see"
sidereal: I saw "SIDE-real" instead of "sid-AIR-ee-al"

Coincidentally, I encountered both of these words while reading Science Fiction novels which are no longer in my possession, and whose titles I don't remember :?

So, time for a "name that book" challenge, I guess? I'd like to re-read these someday, or at least expose my kids to them.

First book: a group of robotic probes leave from their home world shortly before its sun goes nova (memorable quote: "that sort of thing will ruin your whole day"). They set up a home for themselves on an ice-covered moon in the Sol system and developed into artificial lifeforms with strong artificial intelligence, a reproductive cycle resembling human parenthood, science and religion. Humans arrive and think that the robots are expressionless because we can't see in infrared (robot facial features are written in heat blooms on the flat metal surface) and the robots think humans are amorphous blobs because of the rapid heat variation in the air over our skin. One robot is accused of heresy for asserting that he could walk in a straight line and come back around to the starting point from the other direction (because the planet is spherical). Edit: identified as Code of the Lifemaker by James P Hogan, thanks to speising!

Second book: In the Foundation universe, but possibly not written by Azimov? Set in a post-Second-Foundation era when the study of psychohistory is a PHD subject available to anyone, and lots of kids in college have implants that allow them to not only store memories but offload mental effort into an external computer. The protagonist travels to earth and confirms its identity by measuring the oscillation period of a mass at the end of a one-meter string and notes that it equals one sidereal second for the planet.
Spoiler:
The protagonist ends up discovering a flaw in the original math for psychohistory caused by entropy limiting the amount of information from the past we can encode in the present, and symmetrically limiting our ability to predict the future. He fixes this by writing new equations to compensate for chaotic drift and sets the Universe back on the path set by the Seldon Plan.


Any guesses, folks?
Last edited by Zinho on Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:37 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:I never know what to make of words like "tier", "caveat" and "inventory". Why pronounce them as tear, cavee-at , inVENtory, rather than tyre, caf-feet, INventory?

I probably do pronounce it more as INV-ent-ory than in-VENT-ory (actually, the ory is more like 'ry), although I wouldn't rule out IN-ven-TOR-y, either.

The trouble being that I'm not the best person to judge. Even if I could listen to myself unbiased (if I'm paying attention, I'm not saying it 'naturally') I still have to account for my accent. (Which I don't have, natchruly.)

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby ucim » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:38 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
Chimera. I've always pronounced it "SHIM-eh-rah", and wrote a play which used the word. The actor reading it was an architectural designer, (it's used in architecture) and he pronounced it "ky-MEH-rah", and I "corrected" him in a reading we had.

He didn't say anything but went with it; I've since looked it up and have found nowhere that indicates that my pronunciation was even in use.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:42 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
Chimera. I've always pronounced it "SHIM-eh-rah", and wrote a play which used the word. The actor reading it was an architectural designer, (it's used in architecture) and he pronounced it "ky-MEH-rah", and I "corrected" him in a reading we had.

He didn't say anything but went with it; I've since looked it up and have found nowhere that indicates that my pronunciation was even in use.

Jose

Rule of thumb with pronunciation - If two people pronounce a word differently, one way is consistent with the spelling, and the other way is really weird, the second one is probably correct.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby speising » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:43 pm UTC

Zinho wrote:
First book: a group of robotic probes leave from their home world shortly before its sun goes nova (memorable quote: "that sort of thing will ruin your whole day"). They set up a home for themselves on an ice-covered moon in the Sol system and developed into artificial lifeforms with strong artificial intelligence, a reproductive cycle resembling human parenthood, science and religion. Humans arrive and think that the robots are expressionless because we can't see in infrared (robot facial features are written in heat blooms on the flat metal surface) and the robots think humans are amorphous blobs because of the rapid heat variation in the air over our skin. One robot is accused of heresy for asserting that he could walk in a straight line and come back around to the starting point from the other direction (because the planet is spherical).


Code of the Lifemaker

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:50 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Better yet, come to Massachusetts, where Dorchester is "Door Chest - er" but Worcester is "woooster" ,

It's like that (give or take an elongated vowel) in the Motherland, so you're not mangling the language (much!) on your own account.

Do you have any "Leicester"s near you? Or a"Towcester" (sounds like you put bread slices in it), "Tintwistle" (you put it on a christmas tree) to, "Wymondham" (to make them out of breath) or "Kirkby" ('a bit like a a sidewalk edge').

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:52 pm UTC

Zinho wrote:tear vs tyre - no reason I can think of other than history
German influence? (i.e. based on the second vowel of the digraph.)

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:55 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
ucim wrote:
Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
Chimera. I've always pronounced it "SHIM-eh-rah", and wrote a play which used the word. The actor reading it was an architectural designer, (it's used in architecture) and he pronounced it "ky-MEH-rah", and I "corrected" him in a reading we had.

He didn't say anything but went with it; I've since looked it up and have found nowhere that indicates that my pronunciation was even in use.

Jose

Rule of thumb with pronunciation - If two people pronounce a word differently, one way is consistent with the spelling, and the other way is really weird, the second one is probably correct.
Except that the pronunciation of "chimera" is also consistent with the spelling, just like "technology" and "mechanism" and "chemistry" and "charisma" and "chorus" and "chaos" are.
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby nwm » Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:56 pm UTC

I pronounce epitome "EPPY-tome", but EpiPen "uh-PIE-pen".


Wait, that is not how you pronounce epitome?

* goes on dict.leo.org to check *

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:00 pm UTC

*double checks that he isn't doubleposting again, but if I try to ETA anything, someone will post first...*

@Orthogon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Quixo ... nunciation

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Mutex » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:01 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Mutex wrote:
ucim wrote:
Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
Chimera. I've always pronounced it "SHIM-eh-rah", and wrote a play which used the word. The actor reading it was an architectural designer, (it's used in architecture) and he pronounced it "ky-MEH-rah", and I "corrected" him in a reading we had.

He didn't say anything but went with it; I've since looked it up and have found nowhere that indicates that my pronunciation was even in use.

Jose

Rule of thumb with pronunciation - If two people pronounce a word differently, one way is consistent with the spelling, and the other way is really weird, the second one is probably correct.
Except that the pronunciation of "chimera" is also consistent with the spelling, just like "technology" and "mechanism" and "chemistry" and "charisma" and "chorus" and "chaos" are.

Rule of thumb with pronunciation - If two people pronounce a word differently, and one way is the most obvious way to pronounce it, the other one is probably correct.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby somitomi » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:04 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Well, there is an adequate reason, namely that it isn't pronounced like "pronounce+iation". The vowel changes to a short 'u' and is spelled as such.

Well, shit. Then I've been mispronouncing one of them all this time.
Although the inconsistency is still bugging me. If other words don't change, why does this one? Of course my native language probably has a myriad of these I just don't notice because I grew up with them.
Weeks wrote:
Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
I got (and expand) about 70% of my English vocabulary by reading it before hearing it, so I am already doomed

...well, shit...
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:06 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Rule of thumb with pronunciation - If two people pronounce a word differently, and one way is the most obvious way to pronounce it, the other one is probably correct.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyQvjKqXA0Y

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gmalivuk
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:30 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:Although the inconsistency is still bugging me. If other words don't change, why does this one?
The diphthong in "pronounce" has to be spelled with two letters, because we don't have any single letter that has that sound. The diphthongs in the other "long" vowels in English are often spelled just with that vowel (though there may be a silent 'e' at the end of the word if it's in the last syllable).

(The other example of trisyllabic laxing that has a spelling change is between "school" and "scholarly". Though it's not just in trisyllables that it happens, because of course "scholar" also has the short vowel.)
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Zinho » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:49 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Zinho wrote:too much

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Yes! Thank you, that's one down and one to go.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:11 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?
Chimera. I've always pronounced it "SHIM-eh-rah", and wrote a play which used the word. The actor reading it was an architectural designer, (it's used in architecture) and he pronounced it "ky-MEH-rah", and I "corrected" him in a reading we had.

He didn't say anything but went with it; I've since looked it up and have found nowhere that indicates that my pronunciation was even in use.

Jose

Reminds me of speculation I've long had about a line in the Aladdin song "Friend Like Me": the Genie sings "ya got me bonafide certified", pronounced "boh-nah-fee-day", while I suspect the writer of that line intended it to be (mis)pronounced as "boh-nah-fyd" to rhyme with "certified".
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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby ladycygnus » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:13 pm UTC

thunk wrote: I pronounce epitome "EPPY-tome", but EpiPen "uh-PIE-pen".


Heh, for years I had two words in my head, the spoken eh-pito-me and the written EPPY-tome-EH. They both meant the same thing, but I didn't associate them with one another. One day I was watching a video with subtitles on and read one word as another was spoken. Definitely a mind-blown moment.

To this day I still mentally "mispronounce" it the first time I read it.

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Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:00 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So, does anyone else have any words that they (mentally) pronounced incorrectly because they read them long before they heard them spoken?

I probably went five or ten years before I realized that "debacle" was not pronounced similarly to "spectacle" and "miracle". (That could have been a real DEB-uh-kul if I said it somewhere before I learned the right way.)


My headcanon for this one was de-BAKE-ull until I looked it up just now.
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