Monday, February 06, 2012

Words I Mentally Mispronounce All the Time

Ok, fine. And sometimes verbally.  No matter how many times i learn or remind myself, there are certain words that are in a glitchy part of my brain and I just can't get it.  For example:

1. apply.   I first read it as apple-y, as in, having characteristics of an apple. Almost always.

2. Invalid, as in, a person who is physically weak or ill.  But I always put the emphasis on the 2nd syllable: In-VAL-id.   And then it's just so harsh.

3. One time i was in church and i read a quote someone gave me and you know those words that are pronounced a better, fancier way but you might be inclined to pronounce them the way a kid would? For example:  demonstrative.  demon-STRA-tive, instead of de-MON-strative.   Or, irrepairable.  You could say ir-rePAIRable, but you would be wrong, dead wrong.  Obviously it's irREPairable.  Anyway, with that in mind, I said something that is one of the shiniest Idiot Moments of Jen's life.  Here's the word:


How is this said? IrreTRIEVable.  But not wanting to look like a fool, I said the most foolish thing a person could say. I said it the other way, i.e. the non-way. It's not a way. No one says it.  But me, that day:  IrRETrievable.  I don't even know how to type that out. Try saying it. It wasn't easy, but oh, I did it.  PFFFFF.  I just tried it again and OMG what an idiot. Oh, i die of embarrassment.  Even now, reliving it. Why, brain? Why.

4. When I was young, I read "chaos" as "chose" for the longest time. I don't even know how old i was when I realized. Probably Jr. High (or probably way, way later).

5. Ok, this one happened the other day but it was so weird.  I read "awed" as "a-wed,"  which is SO stupid.  Why would i have read it that way?  In my defense, it was describing a photo taken from the website of a wedding photographer. But still.   The sentence was "take a look and prepare to be awed."   Ha ha ha. Oh Jen.  Makes me laugh.

6.  This one is still in question:  Orangutan.  I am still not sure how to pronounce it.  I was taught o-rang-u-tang, but there aint no g on the end.  So i sort of make the n sound in the back of my throat, leaving off the actual g sound, but i kind of feel stupid every time i say it, mumbling through & hoping whatever i say passes (and you'd be surprised how often it comes up in daily conversation).  But what is it for real? Someone tell me. Is it o-rang-u-tan? Short a? That's fine, I can change. I just want to know. 

Alright, so the title of this post is kind of a misnomer.  And I feel like there are more but I guess that'll do for now. What about you? C'mon, share. Make me feel not so dumb.


Alanna said...

I know "catastrophe" took me a while to figure out. And "superlative" (shouldn't it sound like super-lative? not suPERlatIVE?)... Those are the first to come to mind. I think anyone who reads a lot has a hard time knowing how words are pronounced because we hear them in our heads so much more than we hear them spoken! Especially if you were reading a lot as a kid, before grown-ups were using those words around you...

Recently, as I get more and more sleep-deprived, I find myself mixing up my words a lot. It's embarrassing. Especially when I read my master's thesis and realize that I used to be a lot smarter...!

Amber Alvarez said...

Hearth. i think of it as a romantic word. I want it to have 'heart'in it. I say this over and over to myself when I see it written, because it APPEARS to have the word 'EARTH' up in there and yet does not rhyme. I remember driving past a country store on a road trip in college that was called something dumb like "The Earth's Hearth" and I said it aloud and the entire car shook with laughter at my ignorance.

Also, there's a guy at job-job who's name is Norman or Howard, I cannot remember which one is real and which one I made up.

)en said...

That's because Norman and Howard are the exact same name.

Hearth/earth: LOVE. I love how saying hearth the earth way makes you sound like you have a lisp. Either way, it's a win-win to me.

Too funny. :D

lindsey v said...

Haha. Norman and Howard. I have a few names in my brain like that that are completely different but they sound the same to me. Kevin and Steven jumble together and I cannot keep any Kevins or Stevens separate. Also Clint and Travis. My husband's coworker's name is Clint and he always think I am losing my mind when I call him Travis. Are there any Clints or Travises in New York? They sound like such cowboy man names. Maybe that's why they sound so similar to me.

Also, growing up there was a huge sign off the freeway that said "SPAS" as in hot tubs and I always pronounced it spaz. At around 14 I was telling my neighbor (an adult) where I went babysitting over the weekend and I said, "You know that sign that says 'spaz'? It was right near there." She didn't know which sign I was talking about and I thought, how could you not know where that giant sign is. I never realized until years later the real way to say it. Also, I don't know why I ever thought someone would put up a giant sign that said spaz on it.

Scoresbys said...

I always read impotent as imPOtent, instead of IMpotent. Kind of like a child with a lisp trying to say important. It's a word that, like orangutan, comes up more often than you think. Also, when I was teaching school, one day I kept saying aLIas, instead of Alias. And those sophomores are neither forgiving or forgetful. I was teased about that all year.

)en said...

My 7th grade humanities teacher said gestures like guess-tures once, and someone mocked her, and I remember it to this day.

Thinking about you, Mrs. K.

)en said...

p.s. Clint/Travis--totally the same name. Ryan/Tyler--same name. What other combos are there? This is interesting.

The spas story is awesome. I will now pronounce it like spaz forevermore.

Pedersen Posse said...

Extraordinary is the word I've been trying to think of for days. I usually say it like two words extra ordinary but sometimes I say ex-trord-in-ary. I'm not sure which is right.

After reading the comments, it reminded me very much of sitting in my high school PE class and saying to you, "oh my pee-ness" because I had to urinate and, for some odd reason, I was in a phase where I added -ness onto words. I couldn't use the bathroom because it was roll call. It took me a long time to live that one down since I am female and don't have that particular body part.

Shiloh Donkin said...

I started reading this post and I got to number 3 and began to laugh out loud and could not stop until I got to orangutan. Thanks for that.

)en said...

ha ha! oh my gosh, i still blush with embarrassment. :D