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Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English

May 28, 2014 09:33 IST


Photographs: David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

Ever been embarrassed at having mispronounced a word? Fear not! There's help!

English, as Amitabh Bachchan so wonderfully said, is a funny language.

If you, like many of us, aren't a native speaker there's a good chance you've mispronounced more than a word or two.

And there's a good possibility that you did that in a public space that embarrassed you thoroughly.

So, here we are, bringing you ten such words that are most likely to be mispronounced… and how to pronounce them correctly.

Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


This one's probably one of the most easy to mispronounce words… not to mention the most embarrassing one too.

The correct way to pronounce it is 'hoot-spah' -- just the way we wrote it :-)

Chutzpah suggests a certain audacity and self confidence and can be used thus:

Ram Gopal Varma, who showed such chutzpah in his first couple of films has become quite a bore these days.

Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


Note that it's résumé and not resume.

The little thing on top of the 'e' is called an acute accent.

It's what makes c-a-f-é sound ca-fay.

And it's also what differentiates resume from résumé.

Do say: rey-seu-may

Don't say: re-sume

Résumé, as you may well know, is another word for CV or, as it is more popularly known in India, the bio-data.

One of the meanings of the word resume is to take up something again after an interruption.

For instance: I will resume work on résumé my after lunch. :-)

Tags: India

Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


Ah thought you knew this one did you?

The correct pronunciation of 'W-e-d-n-e-s-d-a-y' is wens-day.

As you may have guessed it, the first 'd' in the word is silent :-)

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Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


Yet another seemingly simple word that's mispronounced as 'artic'.

Funnily, A-r-c-t-i-c is pronounced just the way it is written -- arc-tic! :-)

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Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


The Oxford English dictionary defines an aficionado as 'someone who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about an activity, subject, or pastime'.

And this is how you pronounce it: Uh-fi-shi-uh-nado :-)

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Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


Pronounced quite simply as 'vin-yet', vignette is a brief description or a literary sketch.

It can be used in a sentence this:

The following vignette from Malgudi Days is a wonderful description of life in rural India. 

Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


The port city of Marseille is the second largest in France after Paris and like most French words isn't pronounced the way it is written.

It is pronounced 'Mahr-say'

 

Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


This chilli pepper is a popular topping on several pizzas and is pronounced 'hala-pin-yo'.

So the next time you're ordering a round of pizzas, remember say it right. ;-)

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Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


This yet another food-related word and (if you think of it) is quite onomatopoeic.

Succulent can be described as something that is abundant in juices or luscious and is pronounced 'suck-queue-lunt'.

This is how you can use it in a sentence: This lamb is so succulent it's practically falling off the bone!

 

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Oops! The 10 commonly mispronounced words in English


And we wind up this lesson with 'Lingerie', which is trickier than you think :-)

We'll need to break this one in parts.

Lin- is pronounced 'lan'
-ge- is pronounce 'zhu' as in the name Jacque (and not Jack)
-rie is pronounced just the way it is written -- 'rie' :-)

So the British pronunciation of the word can be roughly described as lan-zhu-rie.

The Americans, who refuse to follow the Brits, pronounce it as 'lawn-zhu-ray'.

Have trouble pronouncing difficult words too?

We would love to hear from you!

List out the most difficult to pronounce words according to you in the discussion board and we will try and help you get it right. :-)

Tags: Lin