Monday, February 02, 2009

You may be wrong about the KKK

I've always been kind of a word bitch, meaning my ears prick up when I think I hear someone mispronounce something - like the phrase "my ears prick up" for instance (my ears perk up perhaps?) which is ironical since I'm often wrong about what I think is a mispronunciation. Very much like the word "ironical."

After recently hearing someone say, "We are going to replemish the supply tomorrow," I started thinking there simply must be a list of commonly mispronounced words that I can share with my friends. And lo and behold there is such a list right here. Imagine that! Imagine as well that I first thought the correct phrase was spelled "low and behold," which is exactly my point.


Here are a few of the words and phrases I most often (properly pronounced "ofen" with no "t") hear mispronounced... many of which I didn't even know were wrong:

Wrong vs Right

expresso vs espresso
- Probably derived from how expressive we get after drinking 2 or 3 cups.

ex cetera vs et cetera

exspecially vs especially

for all intensive purposes vs for all intents and purposes
- I hear this one ofen.

heidth vs height

inport vs import

imput vs input
- Imput sounds right when you say it, but looks wrong when you read it.

interpretate vs interpret

ironical vs ironic
- Believe it or not, they're both right. My mom uses "ironical" and I have challenged her in the past on this one. And lost.

irregardless vs regardless

jewlery vs jewelery

Klu Klux Klan vs Ku Klux Klan
- Yee haw... bring on the Google searches!

mute vs moot

nucular vs nuclear
- Popularized by ol' 43 himself.

orientate vs orient

perogative vs prerogative
- We can thank Bobby Brown for this one.

pronounciation vs pronunciation

realator vs realtor

reoccur vs recur
- Guilty as charged here!

replemish vs replenish

sherbert vs sherbet

silicone vs silicon
- You mean they're not referred to as silicone valleys?

spitting image vs spit and image
- This one has become accepted usage over time, but according to this web site it technically is wrong.

supposably vs supposedly

supremist vs supremacist
- See KKK above

take for granite vs take for granted

upmost vs utmost

verbage vs verbiage

volumptuous vs voluptuous

ways vs way
- This one is wrong as in, "We have a ways to go," but saying the proper, "We have a way to go" just sounds wrong to me.

So what about you? Do you mispronounce any of these or other words from the list? Or... what do you hear other people say that gets your goad?

See, you thought it was supposed to be "gets your goat," didn't you?

34 comments:

cathouse teri said...

I'm pretty careful about words. I told you I'm all about words, but you didn't believe me!

The only one on this list that I am guilty of getting wrong is "spitting image." I had no idea it was wrong. But will go back and read the linkage.

Two things that I think are hilarious (my ex and his family have been guilty of these):

1) ache him on vs egg him on
2) to tie me over vs to tide me over

And one that is just real irksome when I hear it:

I could care less

Seriously ~ think about it ~ you're saying you COULD care less than you do? I don't think that is what you mean. You mean you COULDN'T possibly care less.

Right?

Jeff said...

teri - I knew you'd be one of the first ones to respond. "I could care less" has been used as long as I can remember. And "to tie me over" is another one of those that just sounds right when you say it. I'll give you "spitting image" because "spit and image" doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

unfinishedrambler said...

Irregardless of what you say (and hey, my spell-checker didn't come up and say that was misspelled either), I'm still going to use some of these words. It's my perogrative. ;) (Oh, and that one did set off the bells and the whistles on the spell-checker.

Dan said...

Of course you could argue that "wrong and right are purely subjective when it comes to pronunciation.

For example as an Englishman most of the words you colonials use are "wrong" to my ears.

April said...

This list doesn't include my biggest pet peeve: "anyways" WRONG versus "anyway" RIGHT. Drives me insane.
I was totally guilty of the "intensive purposes" one for many years. And I probably still am if I don't correct myself in time.

Dave2 said...

I could extend this list by at least a hundred others, but I'll spare you. :) The only one I disagree with is "irregardless" -- it has been mis-used for so long that it's actually a word now (as verified by Webster's... hah!)

Jeff said...

unfinished rambler - Sounds like you have a pretty noisy spell checker. You might want to turn your volume down.

dan - I'm pretty sure there's no subjectivity to this matter. Our pronunciations are right and yours are wrong. What's your point?

april - Except when your purposes are intense. Then it's ok to use it.

dave2 - Funny how that works. If an illegal word hangs around long enough people have to keep you. Kind of like squatters.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

I hate when guys describe me as fat (WRONG) instead of voluptuous (RIGHT).

Elizabeth said...

I mispronounce words that start with a dr by using a j instead. Like instead of drink I say jrink, for drive I say jrive. It sounds about the same, but I really mess up my students who are trying to lip read me.

Elizabeth said...

And I know I've complained about it here before, but I hate it when people say death when they mean deaf. It happens all the time. Come on people, think about what you're saying!!
(I also hate liberry for library)
(OK I think I'm done now)

Heather said...

All of the sudden and all of a sudden. **shudder**

Darediva said...

I've seen listings by people who ask for a "chester draw" on Freecycle. They mean chest of drawers. Recently, I read someone's post where she wrote "jester" when she meant "gesture".

*lynne* said...

"spitting image" is wrong??!! No way! (haven't clicked on that link yet.. figured I register my surprise first, LoL!)

btw, silicon and silicone are both valid words. Silicon is an element in the periodic table, Si, and is used in making microchips (so Silicon Valley is correct). Silicone is a Si-containing compound, used in all sorts of applications, including boob-enhancers: no silicon implants! :D

Anonymous said...

Youse guys are rite about how we write.

Roger said...

My boss uses irregardless all.the.time. I finally told him that he owes me a quarter for every time he says it. I should be able to pay off my next Disney trip that way, for sure.

Have you ever met a mute with a moot point?

I absolutely hate hearing axe instead of ask. What's up with that?

I love words and drive my co-workers, kids and wife nuts when I catch them saying something incorrectly. They, of course, relish the days that I screw up. I deserve it tough. :)

absepa said...

Gaah! These mispronunciations drive me nuts!! I actually heard the news reader on CBS say "expresso" over the weekend.

Cathouse Teri: "I could care less" drives me crazy, too.

carlae said...

My brain does this thing where it replaces or adds letter to the word before exits my mouth. For instance, the other day I was talking with my sister on the phone describing to her a bed and breakfast in the Bavarian town of Leavenworth WA. It is generally called "The Sleeping Lady" but for some reason it came out of my mouth, "The Slumping lady". It happens, All. The. Time. I really can't fault anyone for their misuse of words, I have my own 'special' language.

Avitable said...

Actually, "gets your goat" is probably more proper than "goad" today. The origin of the phrase is muddled and either might be correct, since they both showed up in the vernacular at about the same time during the turn of the 20th century.

And "spitting image" is 108 years old as a phrase, so I think it's safe to say that it's okay.

Mom Thumb said...

Mischievious vs. mischievous, pitcher vs. picture, or when I hear someone refer to an adult as a nadult.

When Jess was little, she pronounced giraffe with a d - diraffe. When she started reading, she encountered it in a book and asked me what that word was. I told her, she was quiet for a bit and then said, "Well, that's a silly way to spell it!"

Jeff said...

prefers her fantasy life - Is it ok if we refer to you as volumptuous?

elizabeth - I see a lot of death people at the liberry.

heather - Now that you mention it... I have heard that before.

darediva - Funny how you can tell what people think they're saying by how they spell it.

*lynne* - Precisely why I put the linkage on that item.

anon - It's inportant to get it write.

roger - Funny. I get to bust you right away... You said, "I deserve it tough" instead of "THOUGH." Neener neener neener!

absepa - I guess he didn't espress himself very well!

carlae - I transpose letters of a set of words all the time. I would have called it a bread and beckfast.

avitable - Good deal. Sounds like the statue of limitations applies here. WAIT! I mean STATUTE of limitations. Whew!

mom thumb - Good ones. Rosie did the same thing with Austin's name. She thought it was supposed to be spelled Ausdin because that's how she pronounced it.

VE said...

Excellent list. Doesn't mean I won't use those repeatedly but thanks for pointing them out. And let's not forget fantastical!

cathouse teri said...

Ha ha... I used fantastical in an office email to All Staff the other day! They know I'm crazy, though. For instance, today I will be sending out an email addressing some noncompliance on timesheets, but in the subject line I will put, "Don’t Let My Glad Expression Give You the Wrong Impression."

Maureen said...

Oh, gad... the one I hear Americans say all the time (when I'm down there on business) is "axe" as in "I want to axe you a question". Drives. Me. Nuts.

Funny you should write this now. Yesterday I picked up a book called "Grammer Snobs"... even though I just started, it is quite funny.

Windyridge said...

Your forgot a biggy! Asterik for asterisk. THAT and excetera really drive me crazy.

Babs (Beetle) said...

Expresso is one that I am guilty of.
I must admit that I don't think I have heard most of those, so they must be American specific.

Oh there you go - Pacific vs Specific

My biggest hate is 'Those ones' One being singular means you cannot have more than one. If you are talking about many it should just be 'Those'. So may people use it now that I almost think it's become acceptable. I still hate it!

G said...

I was feeling pretty good about myself - sophisticated New Yorker and all, until I got to "pre"rogative. Damn that Bobby Brown!

I shudder a little whenver I read "anyways" somewhere. Hopefully not here :)

Curtis said...

Gaaaa! You are so right on! Two of my hugest pet peeves are "expresso" and "realator". Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!! :-)

cathouse teri said...

It REALLY sucks when a Realtor says "Realator!"

Durblady said...

BTW, Jewlery/Jewelery is actually Jewelry!

Michelle said...

Oh those are some of my big pet peeves. Especially the orientated one. I had people with MBAs say that a few years ago.... Ick.

What about: incentivize. by and in large. I wish I could remember more, but I suppose it's good that I can't think immediately of the things that irritate me, right?

Jeff said...

ve - Without "fantastical" you wouldn't have a blog, and that would just be wrong.

teri - Fun. We never get clever emails at our company :-(

maureen - Do you ever hear anyone ask, "Will you borrow me five bucks?" That's pretty famous around here too.

windyridge - I've heard asterisk butchered many different ways. My favorite is a variation of Maureen's pet peeve - axe, as in axterisk. But hey let's face it... that's a hard damn word to say!

babs - Ooh, good one! Or should I say good ones! ;-)

g - Prerogative is barely possible to even say, so don't feel bad about that one. Anyways, it's good to see you again. (har har)

curtis - We used to call ours a real-turd when she was unable to sell our house. Is that ok?

teri - They must not cover that in their training class.

durblady - Good point. I stole my words from the list of 100 and I think they were trying to write them more phonetically than grammatically, so maybe that's why it's misspelled.

michelle - I love it. "Incentivize" sounds like something Frank Caliendo would say doing an impression of Bush.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

My mom always said warsh instead of wash.

Also, If you continually misspell a word and, growing tired of your spell checker correcting you, add it to your spell checker--does that make the word correct?

Micah said...

And yet most people here probably say to endorse a check when they mean to indorse a check when they sign the back.

Jeff said...

ed - My grandmother said "warsh" too. I always kind of liked it because it was something unique about her that I never heard anyone else say.

micah - That's funny. I don't think I've ever used "indorse" even though they're pretty much interchangeable. It just looks weird to me.