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Sometimes we mispronounce words because we’re in a hurry when we speak. We just want to cut to the chase. Here are 15 common words you’re probably mispronouncing.
- Espresso (Not Expresso). Most people pronounce Espresso with an “X” instead of an “S” because it seems that the caffeinated drink is more zippy like “express.” It’s actually e-S-presso with a “S” sound.
- Supposedly (Not Supposably). While Supposably is a word, it means “able to be supposed,” unlike Supposedly, which mean “according to what is generally assumed or believed.” I think this is a case of misusing a word rather than mispronouncing it.
- Sherbet (Not Sherbert). Believe it or not, there is no extra “R” sound at the end of Sherbet, so it’s pronounced “sher-bet.” An easy way to remember this is, “You’ll have a *sure bet* if you pronounce Sherbet correctly.”
- Library (Not Liberry). There’s an “R” at the beginning of “Library,” but most people breeze right past it and say “Lie-berry” instead of “Lie-Rary.”
- Especially (Not Expecially). Much like “espresso,” there is no “X” sound in the word “especially.” While it’s tempting to say, it’s merely “e-S-pecially.” You know, like it’s “special.”
- Clothes (Not Close). There’s actually a “TH” sound at the beginning of “clothes,” but most people rush through it and say “close” instead. “Please put on your close!” just doesn’t sound right to me.
- Niche (Not Nitch). There’s a “-che” at the end of “Niche,” it’s pronounced “neesh” instead of “Nitch.” It’s a common mistake.
- Silicon (Not Silicone). One of the most popular TV shows on HBO is called “Sili-con Valley” and not “Silly-Cone Valley,” although that would be funny if it were the latter and the show was about a fun ice cream shop instead.
- Tack (Not Tact). Believe it or not, there is no “T” sound at the end of “Tack,” it’s simple pronounced how it’s spelled.
- Cache (Not Cashay). Much like “Niche,” “Cache” is pronounced “Cash” like money without the extra accent.
- Mischievous (Not Mischievious). It’s not pronounced “mis-cheev-EE-us,” but rather “mis-CHIV-us.” There’s no need to add the extra syllables.
- February (Not Febuary). Most people forget there’s an extra “R” at the beginning of February, so they just cut to the chase and pronounce it “feb-uary.” It’s actually pronounced “feb-Ru-ary.”
- Jif (Not GIF). While it stands for Graphic Interface, the inventor of the GIF says it’s pronounced with a soft “G” sound, so it’s “Jif.”
- Dr. Suess (Not Dr. Soos). Apparently, we were all wrong about this one. Dr. Suess is actually pronounced “Dr. Soice,” like “Dr. Voice,” according to the writer Theodore Geisel himself. Every just started calling him Dr. Soo-se with the extra “oo” sound and it just stuck. Theodore Geisel learned to accept it.
- Often (Not Often?). Don’t fret, the “T” in often is silent, so don’t pronounce it, but rather, just say “off-en.”