The Weekly Rant with Gary Patella

Thoughts and ideas on various grievances that are relevant to everyday life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Mispronunciation

On average, a baby will speak his or her first word between 10 and 11 months of age. Between the ages of two and three, children obtain a vocabulary of approximately 300 words. From there words are linked together, sentences are formed, and speaking becomes a primary form of communication.

Yet after years and years of speaking, there are many that still corrupt many words through mispronunciation. Perhaps this shouldn't bother me at all, since it really has no effect on my life. But with certain words, I can't help but cringe when I hear them pronounced incorrectly. Creating a whole list of such words would take far too long. Furthermore, complaining about words that are rarely used in everyday conversation would be too extreme. So I will briefly mention a few commonly mispronounced words that get to me.

First there are those people that replace a letter "n" with a letter "m." Of course I still know what they are talking about, but it infuriates me. If you ever tell me that "Valentime's Day is coming", know that I will probably lose all respect for you. The swapping of m's and n's occurs quite frequently as well. In some cases I will let it slide, and in others I find it unforgivable. If you tell me that the clown fish hangs out in a "sea anenome", I will simply let it go. After all, anemones are not encountered on an every day basis. However, if you tell me that the clown fish is an "aminal", I will correct you and probably show signs of frustration.

Another commonly mispronounced word is supposedly. For some reason, many people falsely subscribe to the belief that it is pronounced supposably. But if you think about it for just a little while, the correct pronunciation is clear. It is normal to say "That plant is supposed to go by the window." But saying "That plant is supposab to go by the window" sounds wrong to any one's ears.

Then we come to the place filled with books, where people can borrow and return them for free. This place is known as the library. But to a great many it is known as the liberry. What the hell is a liberry? The opposite of a truth berry? Are you going to make a smoothie out of it? It's a building, not a fruit. Get it right!

Finally, there is a word that is mispronounced by many people I know. A large number of them are even highly educated. Yet this word has slipped through the cracks and is always mispronounced in the same manner. I am referring to the word "anyway." Anyway is a term that is used quite often and is synonymous with the term "in any case." Yet as popular as it is, far too many people feel the need to corrupt this term by adding an "s" to the end. "Anyways" is not a word. By the rules of grammar it cannot be a word. The word "anyway" is an adverb, and adverbs cannot be pluralized!

So if you are one of the culprits that mispronounces one of these common words, try pronouncing it correctly in the future. It will not only sound more pleasant to the ears of the listener; it will also be able to raise your status in the eyes of others.

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