25 Absurd Mispronunciations That Linger In People’s Memory
English is a tough language to master with a weird set of rules that don’t always make sense. On some occasions, people have been making the same mistakes for years with certain words so much so that the wrong word has even become the accepted norm. For example, in some audiences, if you don’t pronounce the word ‘salmon’ with the L sound, it will have people looking at you all confused.
Indeed, the English language can be a hazard to itself and others. But it does make for relatable entertainment when we see people struggling with a challenging word. That too, in such humorous ways that it sticks out in our memories. Recently, one Redditor got curious about these funny little instances we may have all witnessed at some point or another. They invited netizens to share the most notable moments when they saw someone horribly mispronounce a word and folks did not disappoint as you can see in the gallery below.
#1 We had a training at work, taught by an outside organization. The lady was talking about the Irish potato famine. Except she kept calling it the potato phantom. She did this at least five times
#2 I work in the legislative/policy field, and my boss pronounces statutes “statue-ettes.” It’s wild.
#3 Pah-harmacist. I think about that woman a lot lol
#4 My wife still says “Rhino-saurus” every time she tries to pronounce “Rhinoceros.” To be fair, her way is better.
20 years ago my wife and I were behind a woman at Target at the register. She began arguing with the cashier over the price for an item, and after a few rounds back and forth loudly proclaimed, *”I ain’t no mathematic, but I ain’t no stupid neither!”*
We still use that whenever the “math don’t math” on something.
I was, for reference, a mathematics major.
#6 Working in web development, there was *one* person on my team who consistently mispronounced the word “cache”. Drove me nuts. It’s one syllable, folks, not two! “Cash”, not “cash-ay”!
#7 Ooohhh ooohh the “penglings” by Benedict Cumberbatch
Girl in college:
Word — “Annihilate”
Her pronunciation — Annie – Hilly -Ate
#9 Had a friend that pronounced the b in “subtle.” Was annoying as f**k.
#10 Extracurricular as “Extra Kickler”. The bad part about it is that it was one of my high school teachers. We even starting calling him The Midnight Kickler what kickles at midnight.
#11 I was in a miss teen type of pageant & during the panel I was asked, “if you were handed a red crown what would you draw?” I had to ask the moderator to repeat the question & with a chuckle, I asked for clarification on if she meant a red “crown” or did she actually mean a red crayon. None of the judges were happy with me smugly correcting the moderator.
#12 Worcestershire sauce. He said ‘wash your sister ‘ sauce and I about died laughing
#13 An old colleague once claimed she was ‘unindated’ with work. Now i have to say ‘inundated’ ten times in my head before out loud because that has ruined me for life.
My old boss.
Escaped goat : scapegoat
Interpretate : interpret
Pacifically : specifically
Every. F*****g. Time. In front of some clever people before he would introduce me to carry on with the presentation…
#15 “It’s ponunced nukular!”
It was a brunch time first date at a restaurant fancier than I’m usually comfortable with. Was looking to get a little buzz to take the edge off. I pointed to the mimosa carafe that was on the menu and asked if she would like to share one. We were in agreement that it looked wonderful so when the server came over, I confidently declared that we would like the mimosa care-a-fay. The server laughed. My date laughed. I was mega embarrassed.
We dated for about a year and a half after this incident and she would occasionally ask if I’d like a care a fay of whatever liquid was in close proximity.
TLDR: Carafe is pronounced more like giraffe. Definitely don’t say care a fay on a first date or ever.
#17 It’s Christmas time, which means lots of chocolate ads. Friend of mine informed us that his favorite chocolates were the “feral ranchers.”
#18 When I worked at Subway, I asked a customer what kind of dressing he wanted, and he said, “do you know, uh, chipotle?” Which he butchered so badly I heard it as “do you know a cheap hotel?” So I told him, “yeah, down on 39th Street” and we were both thoroughly confused.
#19 When reading an award at a US Army ceremony, the Personell clerk was reading “He is a fine outstanding soldier all his peers should seek to emulate”, he pronounced it “eliminate”
#20 Coworker was saying stigmata instead of stigma. Multiple times. Also claimed to have a photographic memory. Irony.
#21 Someone who thought the word “vicariously” was bi-curiously. “You’re going on vacation with your friends? Wow! I’m gonna live bi-curiously through you!”
Worked for a guy that was an “intellectually overconfident” type, to put it in the most civil way I know how lol.
He kept using the word and had obviously never heard of it until he read it somewhere. Kept pronouncing it “fake-aid”. He would go on rants about “fake” people and use this to describe their personalities. It was really cringe inducing.
Eventually the stars aligned and we were together on a business trip, I saw a building under construction. “That place is going to have a really beautiful facade”, I said (it genuinely did) and there was no response but about a month later I overheard him using the word and saying it correctly. So whatever.
My high school girlfriend travelled with me to visit my family in SoCal after graduation.
We were playing Trivial Pursuit and it was her turn to read the question.
The question was something like “which south american king ruled with a chihuahua?”
Only she pronounced it as “cha-whoo-a-whoo-a”.
It took a good 30 seconds to understand what she word she was trying to pronounce. And a good 30 minutes for my entire family to stop laughing. We still joke about it to this day.
#24 Ex girlfriend pronounced rhododendron as RaDonDaDron
Co-worker got charged with DUI. He was writing down the facts to show his lawyer and he asked me “How do you spell so-vi-it-e?”
He was saying sobriety but with a V instead of a B. I told him I thought it was S-O-B-R-I-E-T-Y. He told me that was wrong “cuz there is no v in it.”
I told him there wasn’t a V in sobriety and he said, “Then why is it pronounced so-vi-it-tree? See there is a v in it.” I gave up and told him he was right and I had no idea how to spell the word.