Saturday, March 20, 2004

100 Mispronounced Words offers this list of 100 commonly mispronounced words and phrases.

Some of the more amusing ones:
  • "Old Timer's Disease" instead of "Alzheimer's" - er, aren't people usually joking when they pronounce it that way? I hope so!
  • "A blessing in the skies" instead of "a blessing in disguise." (Reminds me of the famously misheard lyric "Scuse me while kiss this guy.")
  • "Carpool tunnel syndrome" instead of "carpal tunnel syndrome." Guess that when all the carpoolers clump trying to merge to get into the tunnel.
  • "Doggy dog world" instead of "Dog-eat-dog world." Surprised Snoop hasn't sued.
  • "For all intensive purposes" instead of "for all intents and purposes" - just heard this the other day.
  • "Heineken remover" instead of "Heimlich maneuver." Personally, I've been in a few bars where they coulda used a Heineken Remover. Like the one where a bloke threw not one, but two bottles of beer at me and me brother before he got kicked out. Well, not at us. He was throwing them at another bloke and they both missed and smashed against the wall immediately between us.
Nor did I know that "persnickety" should be "pernickety," since it's a Scottish word, though so many people pronounce it the former way here, I think there's a case to be made that it's standard in the U.S. Also "chomp at the bit" used to be "champ at the bit," but now so many people here mispronounce it, "chomp" is practically standard, too.

And, did anyone know that "spitting image" should be "spit and image"? There was even the terrific British satire show with look-alike puppets called "Spitting Image." Think that one's a lost cause.

Finally, I hafta admit I've been mispronouncing "barbiturate" as "barbituate." Er, not that it comes up that often . . . .

Can you think of any that aren't on the list?

If you wanna kill more time, check out The 100 Most Often Mispelled Misspelled Words in English.

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