Pronunciation is a generally agreed upon sequence of sounds. Big emphasis on "generally." In fact, many words are routinely mispronounced. How proficient are you at pronunciation? Take the quiz and find out!
Question of 10
Most companies have a position of comptroller, a person who handles accounting and such. How is it pronounced?
That's right, omit the "m" and "p" altogether and replace with an "n!" The weird spelling is due to the French word for account, which is "compte."
Your kid is being mischievous. How do you tell him to quit?
"Stop being so MIS-chuh-vus!"
Yup, most people are way overdoing the word. Keep it simple!
"Stop being so mis-CHEE-vee-ee-us!"
"Stop being so "MIS-CHEE-vus!"
Sherbet, that combo of frozen fruit and dairy, is pronounced:
Contrary to popular opinion, there is only one "r" in "sherbet" — and it's not in the second half of the word. Sorbet (pronounced sor-BAY) is similar to sherbet but it has no dairy in it.
Is there anything more refreshing than an açai bowl? But, um, how do you say it?
Don't feel too bad if you mess this one up. It is a Portuguese word gone mainstream, after all.
Someone sends you GIF of a dancing baby. How do you say "GIF?"
jif (soft "G" sound, like "gin")
Some dictionaries do note both pronunciations, but according to the guy who originally created them for CompuServe, it's in fact pronounced "jif." Like the peanut butter.
gif (hard "G" sound, like "girl")
Either is OK.
You just saw someone who is the epitome of tacky. But how to you say it when you tell your friends?
Much like "hyperbole," the final "e" is pronounced in epitome.
If you're targeting a particular niche market, how should you pronounce it?
neesh (rhymes with "sheesh")
nich (rhymes with "witch")
Either one is OK.
According to Merriam-Webster, "nich" was the only pronunciation given in English dictionaries until the 20th century. And now? "In the U.S., \NICH\ is still the more common pronunciation, but \NEESH\ is gaining ground," the website says.
You're excited about heading to the Arctic for an adventure vacation, but how do you say it?
It seems like the middle "c" is unnecessary, but it isn't! Same goes for "Antarctica."
That race where someone bikes, swims and then runs a marathon is called a:
There isn't an extra "a" before "lon," but it feels like there should be.
Don't usher guests into the foyer while saying the word incorrectly. How do you pronounce the word describing the entryway of a home?
This is another case of people making a word fancier than it really needs to be.