Reading Addicts’ Regular Mispronunciation of Words.

By August 21, 2017Language

We asked our Reading Addicts what words they have read over and over only to realise they’d been pronouncing them wrong all along. We had such a great response we decided to collate some of the best and present them here. With any luck this will stop any future mispronunciation of common words and names in our future reading!




Hermione: her-my-oh-nee

Of Harry Potter fame, of course!

Bruschetta: bru-sket-ah

NOT bru-SHET-ah as the CH in Italian is pronounced as a K sound.

Picturesque: picture-esk

Not, as one Reading Addict believed since they were a child: “picture-skew”!

Laoghaire: Lay-ruh

As featured in the Outlander series… Gaelic is notoriously difficult to decipher.

Plover: pluh-ver

The wading bird does NOT rhyme with clover but DOES rhyme with cover…

Coroner: coh-ron-er

If you only ever read it, you may put the emphasis in the wrong place and make it sound like coh-row-ner!

Superfluous: sue-PER-flew-us

Not, as one Reading Addict had thought, super-fluous.

Penelope: pen-eh-low-pee

I can imagine how this would stump someone!

Priscilla: prih-sill-ah

The C is silent!

Quinoa: keen-wah

OK so I may have been pronouncing this one wrong for a while… It is NOT quin-oh-wah.

Sycophant: sick-uh-fant

One Reading Addicts confessed to an hilarious mispronunciation “sy-cho-faint”.

Subtle: sut-uhl

Yes, the B is silent.

Egregious: eh-gree-jus

If you have only ever read it this one can be tricky!

Assuage: ah-swage

NOT “ass-yoog” or “ah-soo-age”

Epitome: eh-pit-uh-mee

I still keep reading it as “eh-pit-tome”, to this day, despite knowing how to say it!

Chortle: chor-tuhl

Definitely not with a hard K sound…

Colonel: ker-nuhl

I suppose someone used to say “coll-on-nell”?

Quay: key

This was a popular one with many pronouncing it “kway”.

Paradigm: pah-rah-dime

The G is silent!

Hyperbole: high-per-bow-lee

Not some crazy game of football- HYPER-BOWL!

Enamoured: eh-nah-mud

One of my favourite Reading Addicts mispronunciation stories where she made her pronunciation a little too French “ehn-ahm-oured”

Discotheque: diss-co-teck

Funky French word where the QUE is a hard K sound.

Haworth: haw-worth

Not, as many believe, “hay-worth”.

Crichton: kry-tuhn

Another where some letters are just plain silent.

Satyr: say-tuhr

As if the Y and T should have been swapped about.

This is only the tip of the mispronunciation iceberg! We have many, many more of your offerings but these were our favourites so far. Keep ’em coming, Reading Addicts, and remember: it is unfair to berate someone for their mispronunciation of a word as it means they learnt it through reading- and that is NOT a bad thing!




Oxford English Dictionary Hunts for Regional Words

By | Language, News | No Comments
The Oxford English Dictionary has launched the ‘Words Where You Are’ appeal in the hope of documenting regional language that is often not recorded as it is only spoken. You know the kind of words, the words you use all the time but then you go to a different part of the country and the word is met with a blank stare.

As a Welsh person I am well aware of this phenomenon, especially as we use so much incidental Welsh in our speech. That’s a whole different language but around the UK different regions also have their own variations on regional words.
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Bruce Worden Perfectly Illustrates English Homophones

By | Arty, Language | No Comments
Homophones are words that sound similar but spelled differently and with different meanings- like bear and bare, bored and board, sale and sail.

Bruce Worden’s Facebook page Homophones, Weakly  explores the wonder that is the English language in all its confusing glory. His clever illustrations show the difference between the words in a visual way- helping any of us still struggling with there/their/they’re, among others.

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Vigilante Artist Targets Messy Graffiti Writing

By | Arty, Language | No Comments
An artist in Europe is currently critiquing tags left by graffiti ‘artists’ by painting over them and replacing them with easier to read fonts. Mathieu Tremblin was born in Le Mans in 1980, and currently lives in Strasbourg, France, and travels Europe finding ways to subvert street art and advertisement.

From his website:

“Tremblin implements graphic processes of intervention inspired by anonymous, autonomous and spontaneous practices and expressions in urban space in order to question the systems of legislation, representation and symbolization of the city. He works with site specific urban intervention, performed walk, tools design, détournement of objects and uses publication, installation, photography and video to document or reinvest of his experimentations.”

If you have ever wondered what those scribbles on the walls actually mean then Mathieu is here to help. Check out some images below.

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One Comment

  • Jackie says:

    I’m notorious for this. Two that come to mind are aficionado (ah-fis-io-nah-do) and Episcopal (eh-piss-co-pop-al) though my friends could tell you many more. Colonel and epitome for sure!

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