79 Common Mispronunciations by Mental Floss

I’ve noted here a while back about a video by Mental Floss that I enjoyed, on idiom origins. Well here’s another interesting one I’ve watched a few times now.

I don’t know if I’m relieved (that I can be corrected now) or just mortified to discover I’ve been mispronouncing some words all this time.

There are some showbiz names in the list that I’m not interested in, but there are also people whose work I admire, like Ralph Fiennes. I can’t believe ‘Ralph’ doesn’t sound like Ralph but more like ‘raif’, or at least his does. Ugh. Fine. But as for Martin Scorsese, doesn’t Scorsese sound Italian, in which case it should be ‘scor-say-say‘, and not ‘scor-say-see‘? Oh well.

The full list below.

Words in green: I got them right. Yay.

Blue: Extra points! Not easy, but I got them right too. Extra yay!

Red: I got them wrong.

Purple: I didn’t even know what they mean, let alone used them or knew how to pronounce them properly.

  1. Colonel
  2. Awry
  3. epitome
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Ethereal
  6. Meme
  7. Nene
  8. Gangnam Style
  9. Psy
  10. GIF
  11. Pwned. Believed to be a misspelling of the word ‘owned’, as in ‘dominated’.
  12. Facetious
  13. Hyperbole
  14. Lava
  15. Pasta
  16. Nuclear
  17. Official
  18. Hermione
  19. Ralph Fiennes
  20. Taylor Lautner
  21. Jake Gyllenhaal
  22. Gotye
  23. Rihanna
  24. Zooey Deschanel
  25. Martin Scorsese
  26. Ke$ha
  27. Niall Horan
  28. Manolo Blahnik
  29. Accessory
  30. Versailles
  31. Illinois
  32. Arctic
  33. Alzheimer‘s disease
  34. Asperger‘s syndrome
  35. Etc. (Et cetera)
  36. Ask
  37. Pinochle
  38. Forte
  39. Parenthesis / Parentheses
  40. Regardless (no such thing as irregardless) (argh I think I was guilty of this one, using irregardless)
  41. Anyway
  42. Reoccur / Recur
  43. Mauve
  44. Ku Klux Klan
  45. Gnocchi
  46. Crepe
  47. Quinoa
  48. Quiche
  49. Hors d’oeuvres
  50. Penne
  51. Merlot
  52. Caramel
  53. Guacamole
  54. Chipotle
  55. Wikipedia
  56. Thyme
  57. Prosciutto
  58. Mayonnaise
  59. Prescription
  60. Realtor
  61. Jewelry (we use the British jewellery)
  62. Athlete
  63. Asphalt
  64. Ptolemy
  65. Bacchus
  66. Veteran
  67. Veterinarian
  68. Definitely
  69. Supposedly
  70. Especially
  71. Comfortable
  72. Larvae
  73. Library
  74. Triathlon
  75. Asterisk
  76. Affidavit
  77. Schadenfreude
  78. Chauvinist
  79. Les Miserables

YouTube can be such a fun learning tool if one chooses to use it that way, and kudos to the people behind Mental Floss for their creativity and effort in putting together such useful and interesting videos.


Update: Nope, it’s Martin ‘scor-seh-see’ after all. Straight from the horse’s mouth haha, can’t beat that: In this video. So the host John Green is right after all.


Update 2 (7 November): Mauve at No.43 bothered me a bit, so I checked. According to the host, what I think is the correct pronunciation, like ‘mowv’, is incorrect (He pronounced it like ‘moff’ at 4:04 of video). But not according to three other sources:

So, I don’t know, maybe it’s just an American-vs-British difference thing. Maybe I should check out some of the other words on the list when I have the time, just to be sure.

2 thoughts on “79 Common Mispronunciations by Mental Floss

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