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Inspired by the regional language thread....words/phrases you say incorrectly

momofsenior1momofsenior1 7000 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
English was not my first language, despite being raised in NY, and was not spoken at home. As such, I have some strange words/phrases that are totally wrong, mispronounced, etc....

Salmon = wasn't until college that I learned the "L" was silent. My parents still mispronounce it despite being here for 50+ years now.

Open/close the lights, instead of turn on/off the lights (this one drove my H crazy but he's now lived with me long enough that he says it now too!).

Coupon - Used to say "Q-pon". Have to think every time I say the world to make sure I'm pronouncing it correctly.

Lots of words for food - didn't know the word for eggplant until college. Always called it an aubergine or melanzana.

I'm also still a horrible speller. Made even worse now that autocorrect tries to "fix" stuff and my typing isn't always the best, especially on my phone.

My mother was unable to pronounce a number of letters - if any of you have seen the old movie "Blame it on the Bell Boy" the difference between Horton, Orton, and Lorton is truly non existent to an Italian. That caused me to mis-learn many english words. Kids at school were quick to point those out though so they haven't followed me into adulthood like some of the others.

Curious if others have some of this too!




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Replies to: Inspired by the regional language thread....words/phrases you say incorrectly

  • abasketabasket 19197 replies854 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well I think some of these pronunciations are also regional. So it's not like one is right and one is wrong!

    I say Q-pon. (coupon)

    I turn the lights on/off not open/close.

    One pronunciation my H does that drives me crazy is for syrup. He says "sear-up". Drives me crazy. :)
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  • bjscheelbjscheel 523 replies5 threadsRegistered User Member
    One word I insist on saying incorrectly is ombre. I say om-burr, I'm told it's om-bray, but I just like my way better.

    Q-pon is correct :)
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  • washugradwashugrad 1121 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My mom said Q-pon and I still say it that way some of the time. She grew up in Pittsburgh... not sure if it's regional to there or a greater area. How about "melk" rather than "milk"? I still say it that way and so do my kids. I think that's a fairly common regional variation but I'm not sure how common. My middle kid pronounces the "L" in salmon even though the rest of us don't. Not quite sure how that one started... she's got a number of words that she learned from reading first rather than hearing but we ate a lot of salmon so I don't think that was one of them.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74357 replies3254 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Not me...but I’ve heard this from my husband if all people.

    Nuclear....pronounced noo kwew lar.

    Isn’t it noo clee ar
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  • garlandgarland 15984 replies198 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have apparently made up the word "farthenough" without realizing I did (instead of "far enough"). I say it without thinking all the time.
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  • atomomatomom 4654 replies41 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 22
    My family has always pronounced "hearth" like "earth," and H laughs at this. I don't know if this is regional or just because my parents were immigrants' kids. My dad is from Cleveland and Pittsburgh, my mom was from Milwaukee. ("Harth" still sounds strange to me. ) I grew up (in SW Ohio) pronouncing "Route" (should be like "root") as "rout" (like "out").
    My dad also says "strenth" and "lenth" for strength and length. And he says "heighth" for height.
    edited August 22
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38917 replies6877 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited August 22
    My gap year in France means I will always be accurate/pretentious about French pronunciations.
    It's one thing to be accurate when speaking French, but I'm in the "find it pretentious" camp when people use the French (or any other language for that matter) pronunciation on an anglicized word. When speaking English, using the same pronunciation of "Notre Dame" to refer to both the Parisian cathedral and the Indiana university is just wrong IMO. And if one uses the French pronunciation for ombre or bureau or France, expect an eyeroll from me. :)
    edited August 22
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  • 4kids4us4kids4us 626 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    I pronounce the word “wash” properly but it is very common where I grew up in MD to say “warsh” instead. And being in the DC suburbs, I’d hear “Warshington” a lot.

    I’ve always pronounced “affluent” as AFF-lu-ent but it seems most people say Uh-FLU-ent.

    One word most Americans apparently pronounce incorrectly, including myself, is ADIDAS. They are a client of Dh and apparently, the correct way to say is not uh-DEE-das but AH-dee-das. The first time he was talking about them with me I didn’t realize he was talking about the brand Adidas because of the way he was pronouncing it.

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  • garlandgarland 15984 replies198 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 22
    I've never heard it any way but AFF-lu-ent.
    A lot of people want to pronounce La Croix with a French pronunciation, and of course it's La Croy. (though I do know people who say La Kwah being deliberately ironic).
    edited August 22
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  • HouseChatteHouseChatte 651 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    My father used to spell with an accent. One letter he wrote me included a description of fresh-fallen snow as "beautyful." It was like getting mail from Damon Runyon.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77784 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    skieurope wrote: »
    It's one thing to be accurate when speaking French, but I'm in the "find it pretentious" camp when people use the French (or any other language for that matter) pronunciation on an anglicized word.

    Of course, lesser known place names may have less obvious Anglicization to those not from the area. For example, the city of San Rafael name is often Anglicized to san ra-fel, but I have also heard it pronounced san ra-fa-el (person was speaking English but also knows Spanish).
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  • deb922deb922 5612 replies189 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Sophomore, always say it wrong, always annoy my family.

    Nuclear, again super annoying to the family
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  • HarrietMWelschHarrietMWelsch 2481 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For no good reason I have a hard time getting "caterpillar" to come out of my mouth correctly. I know it's not "callapillar" but somebody in my family thought it was too cute to correct, when I was small, and it stuck for far too long. There are also words (all of which have the "oi" diphthong) that I avoid saying because I've never successfully shaken the fairly-deep-south version of their pronunciation, and they tend to get either a puzzled look or an outright laugh. Even in my own house - DH (who also grew up in the south) doesn't give me stick about it but all three kids laugh. And sometimes they'll try to trap me into saying things like "boiled in oil." :D
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38917 replies6877 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited August 22
    ucbalumnus wrote: »
    skieurope wrote: »
    It's one thing to be accurate when speaking French, but I'm in the "find it pretentious" camp when people use the French (or any other language for that matter) pronunciation on an anglicized word.

    Of course, lesser known place names may have less obvious Anglicization to those not from the area. For example, the city of San Rafael name is often Anglicized to san ra-fel, but I have also heard it pronounced san ra-fa-el (person was speaking English but also knows Spanish).

    Yes, I can accept that in a case where someone does not know. I always found it amusing when new anchors moved to a Boston TV station and were reading a story about what happened in Leominster (pronounced lemon-stir), so San Rafael and San Pedro, CA, I can accept from those who are not in the know (but will tell them the prevalent pronunciation). However, Los Angeles with the Spanish pronunciation in an English sentence (or worse - the Anglo pronunciation of the soft G and the last syllable rhyming with "please") just makes my skin crawl.
    edited August 22
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7000 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Those MA towns are tough! I still struggle with Worcester. Especially since there is Wooster, OH ; )
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  • mathmommathmom 32258 replies159 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I was horrified to discover that Cairo, Illinois is pronounced like the syrup.

    I don't pronounce France like the French do except when speaking French, but I do distinguish between Not-er Dame the university vs. Notre Dame the cathedral. Bureau is a common English word, while ombre is not. I don't think I've ever actually heard it in the wild.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7000 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The worst for me in IL is Des Plaines.
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