Everyone keeps telling you that you should be a writer and that you’re an ace at literature. It gets to your head. You start believing your own hype. And that’s the moment that somebody tells you that you’ve been completely mispronouncing some of the words you’ve learned from reading. Embarrassing? Yup! Something that’s happened to a lot of us? Double yup!

When Andree Lau asked Twitter to share some of the words they’ve been mispronouncing the entire time, people responded with gusto. And their answers are amazing and bound to make you giggle. Scroll on down and upvote your fave pronunciations, dear Pandas. If you feel up for sharing, let us know what words you’ve been saying wrong in the comment section (personally, I’d been saying ‘Hermione’ like Viktor Krum until Book 4 of HP).

"Pronunciation is hard even for native speakers, especially when it comes to less-common words like “epitome.” I’ve known lots of people who learned words by reading, not by hearing, and so had no idea how they were pronounced. But for people learning English, pronunciation can be a real nightmare," Lisa McLendon, the News and Information Track Chair and the Coordinator at the Bremner Editing Center at the University of Kansas School of Journalism, told Bored Panda. Read on to learn more about chaotic English pronunciations, Pandas.

#1

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

petepickerill Report

Iggy
Community Member
1 year ago

Arahahahahahaha! I think your version of The Three Musketeers would be better!

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#2

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

Kerri_may Report

Tiger Pearl
Community Member
1 year ago

I bet JK Rowling included that scene just to teach readers the correct pronunciation.

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#3

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

quinnvandekeere Report

* Goth_Kitten *
Community Member
1 year ago

LMAO 😂😂

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According to McLendon, the English language has words that are spelled similarly but pronounced differently (for example, bomb, comb, and tomb), as well as words that are spelled differently but sound the same (like peek, peak, and pique). "Plus, English has a lot of words that have silent letters, which can be confusing," the language expert explained.

We wanted to find out if the rules governing English pronunciations were a lot different than those found in other languages. McLendon stressed that in terms of how spelling reflects pronunciation and vice versa, English pronunciation is "a lot more chaotic."

#4

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

Lin_Manuel Report

Tomasz Jackowski
Community Member
1 year ago

I was today years old when I learned that it doesn't.

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#5

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

wcbeergeek Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 year ago

That’s because cats own everything, including you and your house.

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#6

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

MikeMcPickles Report

True Blue
Community Member
1 year ago

Haha same

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McLendon detailed: "English is a Gallic overlay on a Germanic base, plus it has borrowed liberally from languages all around the world throughout is development. So when a word comes into English, where it comes from, and when a spelling gets standardized all affect how a word is written in relation to how it sounds."

McLendon noted that other languages may not be exactly "spelled like it sounds," however, they have set patterns of how pronunciation doesn't correspond with spelling. 

#7

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

Parler_Toddler Report

Your Local Lizard
Community Member
1 year ago

i read it has horse divorce ;-;

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#8

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

JoJoFromJerz Report

Titas Burinskas
BoredPanda Staff
1 year ago

May-may is also often used

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#9

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

emmettfurrow Report

Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 year ago

Some people are though.

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Before you start feeling bad about making mistakes when it comes to English, it’s best to remember that the language has errrr ‘some’ irregularities when it comes to spelling and pronunciation. That’s why just reading or just watching English TV shows is never enough!

The poem ‘The Chaos’ by Dutch writer, traveler, and teacher Gerard Nolst Trenité (aka Charivarius) perfectly illustrates the disconnect between spelling and pronunciation.

The poem includes around 800 examples of irregular spelling and you can read it right here. Better yet, declaim it out loud for everyone to hear! But be careful not to break off your tongue, native speaker or not.

#10

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

CalumMcSwiggan Report

Marcellus the Third
Community Member
1 year ago

Hyperbole and parabola come from the same Greek roots so why didn't they stay the same (either hyperbole & parabole or hyperbola & parabola)?

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#11

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

nayyeroar Report

Azziza
Community Member
1 year ago

On of my sorority sisters said it that way and I laughed and repeated it "chick, hahahahaha" thinking she was just joking around. Then I saw the puzzlement on her face.

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#12

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

MeeganReadCBC Report

Spellbounded
Community Member
1 year ago

The first G stands for graphic so I say it with a hard G

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English words mainly derive from old German and Norman French. While pronunciations of all 3 languages have changed enormously since 1066, it’s English that stands out with its unreliable pronunciation and very varied spellings for identical sounds.

According to The English Spelling Society, the consistency of English spelling started getting corrupted after it was reinstated as the official language of England in the 15th century.

The bible wars of the following century also meant that English consistency was thrown off course even more by foreign printers. Allegedly, there hasn’t been a coordinated attempt to try and remove all the corruptions in the English language. This is why some foreign students still find English to be a chaotic and beautiful headache.

#13

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

teadrunkkate Report

Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
1 year ago

Haha, my grandmother and I used to think it was that too. My mom corrected me, but I think my grandma still thinks it's "fox"...

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#14

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

cjane87 Report

BusLady
Community Member
1 year ago

I said it that way well into my forties, when an older lady corrected me.

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#15

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

DixonTam Report

Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
1 year ago

:O Omg, same! And then I was like. "Mom, is it auto-spy report?" and she was like "No..."

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#16

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

nikillinit Report

Jenn C
Community Member
1 year ago

Wait, it isn't said like that?!

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#17

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

ProfLisa Report

juice
Community Member
1 year ago

isn't it called Chick Fil A because they make chicken filets? i just assumed that's why it's pronounced that way

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#18

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

JWP_____ Report

Marcellus the Third
Community Member
1 year ago

Sure he was laughing at the pronunciation not the opinion?

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#19

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

MeghanHughes Report

Iggy
Community Member
1 year ago

Church would be a lot more fun with possums!

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#20

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

1KatieJMills Report

Phil Boswell
Community Member
1 year ago

To be fair, some dialects pronounce it like that anyway.

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#21

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

EllenMeister Report

Ksenia M
Community Member
1 year ago

According to Merriam-Webster both are possible \ ˈdau̇(-ə)r , ˈdu̇r \

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#22

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

claremackint0sh Report

SP
Community Member
1 year ago

St. Clare's and Malory towers!

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#23

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

Buellie1208 Report

Roxanne D'souza
Community Member
1 year ago

OMG I once read it as "chah-ohs" in school when I was asked to read something aloud and I had the smart girls laugh at me until I played it off as a joke and on purpose mis-pronounced other words as well. The rest of the class high-fived me later because no one really liked that particular teacher and they thought I was doing it to annoy her.

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#24

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

HarrisonMooney Report

Aaliya Haque
Community Member
1 year ago

oh i loved that calvin and hobbes lol

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#25

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

AlexBikeBike Report

Kevin Berry
Community Member
1 year ago

Mine was 'Colonel'. I still don't understand how or why it is pronounced 'Kernel'.

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#26

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

js_landor Report

Lord Mysticlaw
Community Member
1 year ago

My mom still says all-bite and i can't convince her that it's wrong 🤷🏻‍♀️

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#27

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

3illSweet Report

Elin Noller
Community Member
1 year ago

That is the right way to pronounce it. In Sweden ;)

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#28

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

Don_LB Report

Arctic Fox Lover
Community Member
1 year ago

Lol, Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z probably messed up every kids' pronunciation of fajita.

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#29

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

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Jo Johannsen
Community Member
1 year ago

When I am being sarcastic about someone's LACK of subtlety, I use sub-tull on porpoise.

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#30

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

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Alex T
Community Member
1 year ago

the anthem for all the workers at Denny's

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#31

Mispronounced-Words-Andree-Lau

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Rabbit Carrot
Community Member
1 year ago

To be fair, lots of people get this one wrong.

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