Linked Questions

3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do native speakers ever make pronunciation mistakes? [duplicate]

I've been thinking of this and I'd appreciate if a native speaker could reply. Many times I see on the internet lots of English-related material about how to pronounce correctly, and that is mainly ...
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43 votes
16 answers
9k views

Are there any English words pronounced with sounds/syllables that aren't part of the spelling? [closed]

There are many English words with silent letters, words like gnome or island that are spelt with consonants that aren't pronounced, but are there any words that work the other way round, with a ...
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  • 1,463
23 votes
6 answers
197k views

Has "segway" become an acceptable substitute for "segue"?

For a long time, I used the word segway in relative contentment, as a useful word to mean "to transition to." As in: We're getting off-topic. Let's segway to the next discussion point, shall we? ...
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  • 21.3k
20 votes
6 answers
60k views

The pronunciation of buoy

How did the word buoy come to be pronounced "BOO-ee" in most of the US? The British pronunciation "BOY" as in the word buoyancy or buoyant (which both countries pronounce the same) seems to be pretty ...
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  • 5,310
12 votes
3 answers
39k views

How to pronounce "halcyon"?

I grew up thinking this word was pronounced HALK-YON, having learned it from books and never hearing someone speak it. I recently heard somebody mention it for the first time, and they pronounced it ...
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6 votes
3 answers
67k views

Why is "hyperbole" pronounced so differently from its spelling?

I've often heard people say "hyperbole" exactly as it is written, "hi-per-bole", instead of how it is actually pronounced: "hi-pear-bow-lee". How did it get such an unusually different pronunciation ...
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4 votes
2 answers
140k views

What's the correct pronunciation of "epitome": "Epi-tome" or "Epi-tuh-mi"?

A friend said that epitome is pronounced as epi-tuh-mi and not epi-tome (with the tome like home). Who is right? Also, is the pronunciation purely dependent on the region where you learnt English?
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6 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the pronunciation of parenthesized ‘read’?

In sentences like the following one, what is the pronunciation of the word read? I have always pronounced it red, as past-tense, but I have, a couple of times, heard it pronounced reed, as instruction ...
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  • 2,241
4 votes
2 answers
23k views

Sounds of the letter a

How can I know, precisely, when to differentiate the sounds of the letter a, like in: apple and vault?
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4 votes
5 answers
3k views

Are there other words with the same weird spelling / pronunciation combo as "victual"?

I've always thought that "victual" was a funny word because its spelling and pronunciation are so alien to anything else I know of in the English language. The free dictionary explains the origin of ...
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  • 389
23 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there a word for words that people are more likely to have read than heard, thus don't know how to pronounce?

As a software guy I find myself using words like "idempotent" and "cache", which I'm very familiar with from technical writings, but have seldom heard being spoken. When I do hear someone using these ...
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1 vote
1 answer
11k views

Is "injur" a word? [closed]

Am I going crazy? I think "injur" must be a transitive verb meaning "to cause injury to," as in "the flying debris might injur the bystanders." Yet when I google around and check online dictionaries,...
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  • 111
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

What loan-words keep their native pronunciation?

Being a non-native English speaker I recently discovered that for some words you don't use English pronunciation. For instance you seem to be omitting the l's when saying tortilla. Yet this isn't ...
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  • 1,260
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

English letter sequence with most pronunciations

The letters -ough- can be pronounced a ridiculous number of different ways in English. Here is a possibly incomplete list: tough, enough cough, trough bough, plough though, dough thought, bought ...
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1 vote
2 answers
13k views

Examples of spoken phrases where the tone used changes the meaning [closed]

I'm looking for examples of phrases & sentences whose meaning changes depending on the tone of voice used. For example, 'Follow me.' (Said with a falling tone) would be understood as a command. ...
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