水曜日, 8月 25, 2004

Pronunciation Practice

    Sure, we English teachers think we have perfect pronunciation, but do we? The link is a list of frequently mispronounced English words. To practice eradicating bad pronunciation habits, I wrote the following story to be read aloud:

    Last February, I went camping in the Arctic Circle. The campsite was comfortable, but I wanted an espresso. Patience is not my forte, so I asked around until I located an old coffeepot and a minuscule amount of ground coffee. I decided to practice my pronunciation as I watched it percolate. I probably mispronounce all of these words often. In the past I was insouciant, but now I would like to sound suitably cultured before my upcoming nuptials, or else my fiance’s family will lambaste me. The last time I went to his family’s house, they wanted to argue with me about the role of the electoral college. When I didn’t want to discuss it, they asked me embarrassing questions about menstruation. It made me nervous. They seem to have a plenitude of difficult topics to discuss with me.

    Is your pronunciation perfect?

    Note: Dictionary.com explains that while pronouncing forte as "for-tay" is technically incorrect, 74% of people polled prefer the two-syllable pronunciation. I agree with the majority vote on this one. The correct pronunciation ("fort") is dumb.


  • At 7:47 午後, Blogger Matt said…

    Some of those made me cringe ("ath-a-leet"? what are we, Hawaiian now?), but some of the I disagree with. "Figure", for example, and "February". I think the alternates marked "incorrect" are widespread enough to be considered OK.

  • At 9:53 午前, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    Some made me cringe too, so I didn't include those in my story. And some alternates should be ok. But my brother says "supposebly," and I know "Arctic" and "espresso" are frequently mispronounced, so I think the list has value. I think "plenitude" is hard not to mispronounce as "plentitude" - you want to say "plenty." Lately I think I've been saying OFT-en (It's spelled with a t, so why don't we pronounce the T?) in an effort to enunciate clearly for students. I've also caught myself mispronouncing "pronunciation" in class, which is scary.

  • At 4:40 午後, Anonymous 匿名 said…

    Apparently supposably is really a word. I was surprised too. Someone besides Dig used it and proved to me that it's a real word.

  • At 8:30 午前, Blogger butterflyblue said…

    It's NOT a real word. It's a common mispronounciation of "supposedly." How did this person prove it's a real word?



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