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Want To Sound Unprofessional? Here Are The 30 Words People Mispronounce The Most

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Being correct isn’t easy.

And, let’s face it, even when you are it doesn’t always seem to matter.

The world turns in such mercurial ways that doing things right won’t automatically raise you to higher glories.

Still, you’re a professional and you like doing things right.

Here, then, is a list compiled by Dictionary.com of the words people mispronounce most often.

The site says that it compiled this list on the basis of its internal data.

You know data is always right, so listen carefully and see how many you get, um, right.

The phonetics are from Dictionary.com.

Naturally, the annotations are my own.

1. Affidavit. [af-i-dey-vit] This one stuns me. How do people mispronounce it? I don’t know. A-fi-duh-vit?

2. Almond [ah-muh nd, am-uh nd] I’m sorry, but I’m one of those who put an “l” in there. I like that “l”. I must be unprofessional.

3. Beget [bih-get] It seems that there are many misbegotten souls in the world.

4. Cache [kash] Again, it’s unclear how people say this wrong. Do they pronounce it “Catchee”?

5. Caramel [kar-uh-muh l, -mel, kahr-muh l] Oh, there are alternatives, are there? Pronounce it like the small twee town whose mayor used to be Clint Eastwood and I’ll look at you funny.

6. Coupon [koo-pon, kyoo-] Please, please. It isn’t Kyoo- anything. No. Just no.

7. Croissant [French krwah-sahn; English kruh-sahnt] I prefer the French. Don’t you?

8. Epitome [ih-pit-uh-mee] No, it doesn’t sound even vaguely like “baritone.”

9. Espresso [e-spres-oh] Look, no X. Anywhere.

10. Et Cetera [et set-er-uh, se-truh] People get this wrong? Weird.

11. Façade [fuh-sahd, fa-] I’m sorry, but if you’re not au fait with your cedilla, you’re just not management material.

12. Fiery [fahyuh r-ee, fahy-uh-ree] Yes, not as in Guy Fieri.

13. Genre [zhahn-ruh; French zhahn-ruh] Every time I hear “John-ruh”, a part of me withers away.

14. Haute [oht] No, some do not like it haute.

15. Hyperbole [hahy-pur-buh-lee] It really isn’t hyper-bowl. Though it so should be.

16. Lambaste [lam-beyst, -bast] Oh.

17. Mauve [mohv] As opposed to what, exactly?

18. Mischievous [mis-chuh-vuh s] Indeed, it isn’t “mischiev-i-ous.

19. Niche [nich] Dictionary.com pains me here. Surely “neesh” sounds better.

20. Peony [pee-uh-nee] Do people pronounce it like, I don’t know, Briony?

21. Prerogative [pri-rog-uh-tiv, puh-rog-] Definitely hard to say when tipsy.

22. Quinoa [keen-wah, kee-noh-uh] I’m surprised Bolivia hasn’t started a war over the way this one’s mispronounced in many parts.

23. Reservoir [rez-er-vwahr, -vwawr, -vawr, rez-uh-] You have choices and still you get it wrong? Shame on you.

24. Salmon [sam-uh n] I fear people throw an “l” in here too. Works with almond (for me), but not salmon.

25. Sherbet [shur-bit] Sherbet? Sherbet? What do people say? “Sher-bay”?

26. Turmeric [tur-mer-ik] I fear people may not see the first “r”.

27. Verbiage [vur-bee-ij] I fear people may not see the first “i”.

28. Weimaraner [vahy-muh-rah-ner, wahy-, wahy-muh-rey-] What? I’ve never used this word in my life. Have you?

29. Whet [hwet, wet] What do some people say? “Wuh-hett”?

30. Worcestershire [woo s-ter-sheer, -sher] I was born not far from here. Please don’t get it wrong. The sauce really isn’t “War-sester-shiyer”. Truly.

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