Tag Archives: Language

For the linguistically challenged *updated*

11 May

If you’re like me, half a semester of beginning college Spanish is about all you can handle. Yes, half a semester. After that it was all Greek to me.
So we may not ever be bilingual, and that kind of sucks. It’s also embarrassing when you’ve studied so little language, and have such a loose handle on non-English pronunciation, that you just give up trying with the easiest of words: “Tasty lookin’ whores-devours at this party, huh?” That might offend.

I often feel dumb when I don’t know how to pronounce the names of fashion designers. Obviously this embarrassment isn’t made public often, since I nor anyone I really know is in the designer-wearing crowd. Still, if you too struggle with this, here’s some help: the BBC and the Wall Street Journal have kindly provided articles on the subject.

If you don’t feel comfortable ordering a few dozen types of scotch, a Scot has done the talking bit for you, aye.

Click for pronunciation

For many other of your pronunciation needs is a YouTube channel, Pronunciation Book. These spoken words are either ridiculously mundane, or rather helpful.

Lastly, but most shameful, I am terrible at Bible words. Here’s the thing: Even if you don’t read or talk about the Bible much, you  will be all the smarter, more cultured, and sophisticated-er with the ability decipher some Hebrew, Greek, and/or Latin vocabulary. Do so here and here.

Now go forth, knowing more both obscure pronunciation like examples above, and more common ones:

  • aegis: ee-jis, not ay-jis
  • asterisk: as-ter-isk, not as-ter-ik
  • alumnae: a-lum-nee, not a-lum-nay
  • archipelago: ar-ki-PEL-a-go, not arch-i-pel-a-go
  • athlete: ath-leet, not ath-a-leet
  • candidate: kan-di-dayt, not kan-i-dayt
  • chimera: kiy-MEER-a, not CHIM-er-a
  • disastrous: di-zas-tres, not di-zas-ter-es
  • electoral: e-LEK-tor-al, not e-lek-TOR-al
  • etcetera: et-set-er-a, not ek-set-er-a
  • lambaste: lam-bayst, not lam-bast
  • larvae: lar-vee, not lar-vay
  • library: li-brar-y, not li-bar-y
  • mischievous: MIS-che-vus, not mis-CHEE-vee-us
  • mispronunciation: mis-pro-nun-see-ay-shun, not mis-pro-nown-see-ay-shun
  • nuclear: noo-klee-ur, not noo-kyu-lur
  • nuptial: nup-shul, not nup-shoo-al
  • primer: (schoolbook) prim-mer, not pry-mer
  • picture: pik-cher, not pit-cher
  • prescription: prih-skrip-shun, not per-skrip-shun
  • prerogative: pre-rog-a-tive, not per-rog-a-tive
  • peremptory: per-emp-tuh-ree, not pre-emp-tuh-ree
  • probably: prob-a-blee, not pra-lee or prob-lee
  • Realtor: reel-ter, not ree-la-ter
  • supposedly: su-pos-ed-lee, not su-pos-ab-lee
  • spurious: spyoor-ee-us, not spur-ee-us
  • tenet: ten-it, not ten-unt
  • ticklish: tik-lish, not tik-i-lish
  • triathlon: try-ath-lon, not try-ath-a-lon

Read more: Commonly Mispronounced Words — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0907075.html#ixzz1M49d6rKj