20 Words You've Definitely Mispronounced Your Whole Life

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English is undeniably a very complex language that keeps on changing with the times. This makes it hard to always keep up with the proper spelling and pronunciation of certain words. Someone once compared spelling in English to "playing one of those computer games where, no matter what you will lose eventually." They're not wrong.

English has an abundance of words borrowed from other languages like French, Greek and Latin, so even as an Anglophone you might be surprised that there are a lot of common words you and others around you have been pronouncing wrong your entire lives. It's no wonder some people spend years in school to obtain a degree in English.

Here are 20 words that you've probably been saying incorrectly, either because the spelling throws you off or you're just too lazy to correct yourself.

1. Mischievous

It's only a three syllable word but for some reason most people like to add an extra "i" to "mischievous," which makes it sound a lot more complicated than it needs to be.


2. Kilometer

Kilometer is not as popular in the States as miles, but when you get around to saying it you're most likely putting the stress on the second syllable and that's incorrect. The stress should be on the first syllable and the "o" shouldn't be made into an "ah" sound.


3. Espresso

There is no “x” in Espresso. So there is absolutely no need to add it in your pronunciation of the word. End of argument.


4. Gif

The inventor of the graphic himself cleared up the confusion about how the word sounds. It’s actually “jif,” like the peanut butter brand. You can still choose to stick to the hard “G” but you’ll most likely be judged by those in the tech world.


5. Sherbet

We love making up new pronunciations like the english language wasn’t already complicated enough. We’re all guilty for saying "sherbert" but there's actually no ”r” in the second syllable.


Click on the next page for even more surprisingly easy words you've been getting wrong.

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