Incorrect pronunciation: off-ten
Correct pronunciation: off-en
My mom has a field day with this one. She insists that she had an elementary school teacher who smacked students’ hands when they erroneously pronounced the “T” in often. I don’t know why, but the “T” is silent in this one. (The same goes for the word “soften.”) This is the only word on the list that is not pronounced phonetically, though, so it all gets easier from here.
4. Athlete (and Biathlon, Triathlon, Decathlon, etc.)
Incorrect pronunciation: ath-a-leet
Correct pronunciation: ath-leet
There is no vowel between the “H” and the “L” in any word derived from “athlete.” Please stop adding one.
Incorrect pronunciation: ex-presso
Correct pronunciation: es-presso
Since there has been a coffee shop on every street corner for at least a decade, you should have mastered this years ago. The word “espresso” is pronounced the way it is spelled. There is no “x” in it.
Incorrect pronunciation: nuke-you-ler
Correct pronunciation: new-clee-er
Remember those days not so long ago when everyone thought very little about the intelligence of the President of the United States? When you’re a man fixated on nuclear weapons, but you can’t pronounce the word “nuclear,” things do not look good for you. Nuclear is phonetic.
Incorrect pronunciation: sher-bert
Correct pronunciation: sher-bet
There is only one “R” in “sherbet,” no matter how many times you and the people around you pronounce it incorrectly.
Are there any words you’d like to add to the list?