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  1. #1
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    Question Mispronounciation ???

    Do you know why people consistently mispronounce words that they KNOW they are mispronouncing? For example, George Bush (and a zillion others who know better) insist on pronouncing the word NUCLEAR "NU-CU-LAR". Other similarly mispronounced words: REALTY (REE-LITTY), REALTOR (REE-LI-TOR). These gaffes are peculiar to me because if one can read and understand phonics, one can clearly see the way the word SHOULD be said. If a person learns a word incorrectly, then says it wrong for decades, is it impossible to train the brain or tongue to pronounce the word right?

    Just curious.

  2. #2
    risby is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Mispronounciation ???

    Quote Originally Posted by j4mes_bond25 View Post
    Do you know why people consistently mispronounce words that they KNOW they are mispronouncing?

    If a person learns a word incorrectly, then says it wrong for decades, is it impossible to train the brain or tongue to pronounce the word right?
    It's not impossible but it would need someone to be severely embarrassed by their gaffe to make them conscious of it as a mispronunciation.

    I don't know that we can consider different ways of speaking as necessarily incorrect. It used to annoy me that merkins said alu.mi.num but then discovered that that was how the Englishman who discovered aluminium originally spelt and pronounced it.

    It used to bug me that Jamaicans would pronounce "ask" as "aks" but then discovered that "ask" was spelt "axe" in mediaeval England.

    It still does irritate me when people say "prehaps" instead of "perhaps" but p'raps that'll be how it's spelt in years to come. The same goes for mis.cheev.i.ous when, in fact, it's spelt "mischievous".

  3. #3
    alienvoord is offline Member
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      • English Teacher
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      • English
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      • Canada
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    Re: Mispronounciation ???

    NUCLEAR "NU-CU-LAR". Other similarly mispronounced words: REALTY (REE-LITTY), REALTOR (REE-LI-TOR)
    These are examples of metathesis, a normal feature observed in many languages.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Re: Mispronounciation ???

    ups
    arial phonetic doesn't work here :/
    anyway
    like strategy pronounced like stra.de.gy

  5. #5
    Jenne =) is offline Newbie
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    Re: Mispronounciation ???

    Quote Originally Posted by j4mes_bond25 View Post
    If a person learns a word incorrectly, then says it wrong for decades, is it impossible to train the brain or tongue to pronounce the word right?
    Yes, this does influence someone's pronunciation. I've got the same problem, actually, with pronouncing character. For some reason I still say tʃśrəktər instead of kśrəktər and the English teacher I had three years back taught me how to pronounce it... It's automatism, probably. When you get used to something it's hard to let it go, especially when you don't have time to think (i.e. while speaking).

    Another explanation might be the accent. Sometimes it's hard for people from a particular area to pronounce something the way it should be pronounced, just because it has never been pronounced like that in their area or by their ancestors. I remember something from the Billy Elliot musical: the actors have to fake a Geordie accent and are taught to say somthin' instead of something. It's just... normal, in some areas, to mispronounce words.

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