I've always thought I did I pretty good job with the English language. But I was forced to reevaluate my performance as I looked over a list I found of the 100 most mispronounced words. I was shocked to find that I have been mispronouncing several of these words. It's kind of embarrassing.
But I'm not too snobby to admit my mistakes. Here are a few I have been guilty of mispronouncing (wrong way is in black, right way is in blue):
|perogative||prerogative||Even in dialects where [r] does not always trade places with the preceding vowel (as the Texan pronunciations "differnce," "vetern," etc.), the [r] in this prefix often gets switched.|
|spitting image||spit and image||The very spit of someone is an exact likeness. "The spit and image" or "spit image" emphasizes the exactness.|
|supremist ||supremacist||This word is derived from "supremacy," not "supreme." A supremist would be someone who considers himself supreme. You know there is no one like that.|
|Tiajuana||Tijuana||Why make Spanish words more difficult than they already are? Just three syllables here, thank you.|
|nucular ||nuclear||The British and Australians find the American repetition of the [u] between the [k] and [l] quaintly amusing. Good reason to get it right.|
Let me say, however, that I DO know it is supposed to be nuclear even though I sometimes slip up and say it the wrong way.