Mispronunciation

Among the 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in English is carpal tunnel syndrome (“carpool tunnel syndrome”).

Several of my dad’s mispronunciations are on the list. These include library (libary) and sherbet (sherbert). He also says “spistachio” and “Massatusetts,” although the second of those is probably intentional. Massachusetts is above the Mason-Dixon line, you see. Even though my dad went to MIT on a scholarship for his masters’ degree, he has no patience for the Northeast. It was a terrible blow to him when my sister moved to Northampton in the mid-90’s.

“Why would she want to go to Massatusetts? With her roommate?” he would say. Mom also ridicules my sister’s state of residence, calling it “Taxachusetts” and then slapping her knee like nobody’s ever said that before.

Evidently I mispronounce “mauve” (should be “mowv”). I used to say “idn’t” and “wadn’t” (instead of isn’t and wasn’t). I also said “sow” instead of “saw,” but that’s not listed. Public high school in Miami stomped all that kind of dialect out of me.

Apropos of nothing, have I ever mentioned how tickled I am by the word “flustrated“? It means just what you’d think. I encountered it for the first time when I lived in Tallahassee and it really comes in handy. C’mon Webster’s, get with the program. (Mispronounced words link via The Morning News.)


Comments are closed.