Correct American English Pronunciation for 10 of the Most Commonly Mispronounced Words

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Everyone makes pronunciation errors from time to time; we are all human and are not perfect. But, there are some words that, when mispronounced, are noticeable to others and send a negative signal to our listeners. These are usually common words that we use on a regular basis, so we say them often. This is why they can really have a significant impact on the quality of our speech! This article is the first in a series that will identify commonly mispronounced words and how to pronounce them correctly.

There are many common words that are often mispronounced, but this article will take a look at 10 of the most common ones, how they are usually mispronounced, and how to say them correctly. If you are currently mispronouncing any of these words, make an effort to learn how to pronounce them correctly, so can avoid making a "vocabulary faux pas!"

1. Supposedly
The correct pronunciation is "suh-POSE-id-lee"
The most common mispronunciation is "suh-POSE-ub-lee"
Remember, there is never a "b" in "supposedly."

2. Across
The correct pronunciation is "uh-CROSS"
The most common mispronunciation is "uh-CROSST"
For some reason, many people add a "t" at the end of this word, which is incorrect.

3. Pronunciation
The correct pronunciation is "pro-nun-see-YA-shin"
The most common mispronunciation is "pro-noun-see-YA-shin"
The confusion on this word, I believe, stems from the verb "pronounce" which has "noun" in it, but when it becomes the noun "pronunciation", the second syllable "noun" changes to "nun".

4. Probably
The correct pronunciation is "Praw-bub-lee"
The most common mispronunciations are "praw-lee" and "prob-lee"
The key to pronouncing this word correctly is remembering there is a "bub" in the middle, and it always has three syllables.

5. Recognize
The correct pronunciation is "RECK-ug-nize"
The most common mispronunciation is "RECK-uh-nize"
Somehow the "g" in the middle of this word is forgotten!

6. Regardless
The correct pronunciation is "ree-GARD-less"
Many people confuse the word "regardless" with "irregardless" pronounced as "ear-ree-GARD-less"
There really is no such word as "irregardless" so do not fall into this mispronunciation trap.

7. Nuclear
The correct pronunciation is "NEW-klee-yer"
The most common mispronunciation is "NEW-cue-ler"
Many prominent people, including news broadcasters and politicians say this one incorrectly. There is no vowel between the "c" and "l" in the word "nuclear" … ever.

8. Especially
The correct pronunciation is "es-PESH-uh-lee"
The most common mispronunciation is "eks-PESH-uh-lee"
Please remember that there is no "k" sound in the first syllable of this word.

9. Et cetera
The correct pronunciation is "eht-SET-er-uh"
The most common mispronunciation is "ex-SET-er-uh"
In this word, the "t" is incorrectly replaced with a "k".

10. Ask
The correct pronunciation is "ask", just as it is spelled, however many people put the "k" before the "s", so it sounds like "aks". Remember that the "s" always comes before the "k", otherwise it becomes "ax."



Cheryl Posey

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