I can pronounce now!

I really did once pronounce epitome as ep-i-TOME. For the longest time, I heard people saying what sounded like "segway," read the word "segue," and thought they were two different words. I could go on, but the shuddering of embarrassment is too great.* I could pat myself on the back, and say my lack of pronunciation knowledge means I am a Very Great Reader. It may also, however, be related to the fact that I use the word "like" rather too frequently as a filler and am from Long Island. In other words, I tend to restrict conversations with friends to such intellectual topics such as who is sleeping with whom, who wants to be sleeping with whom but cannot effectuate the situation, who said what in which way to whom and why that was so funny/weird/arrogant/awesome, who wore what totally hot/inappropriate/slutty/classic item, etc.

So I'm very very glad for this. I hesitate to admit publicly that I just had to look up "Keynesian." (Figured I'd need it quite soon.) Although now I pronounce all difficult words with a fruity British accent.

*Isn't it funny what embarrasses us? I mean, it has nothing to do with what other people are really thinking. I hear people mispronounce things or stumble and fall all the time, and I don't think twice about it. But when I do it, I want to absolutely DIE.


  1. I went years reading "epitome" and thinking it was some word I had never heard of, while happily using it in conversation.

  2. As a lad I thought a certain type of blood vessel was called a ca-PILL-ary. I was also mocked in class for reading aloud about the Missouri COM-promise

  3. I think the English pronounce capillary that way, but what the hell do they know? You should hear how they pronounce "aluminum."

  4. this is great, thanks. I too am now going to pronounce various book-only words fruitily (see, e.g. "blackguard").

    ps: I'm a visitor from tnr

  5. If its any comfort, it happens to the paid professionals as well -- today a BBC report refered to the Noble prize (rather than 'no-BEL'), and an NPR reporter was completely flumoxed by Ptolomy (I believe she tried for pah-tah-LO-me rather than TOL-o-me).

    I always stumbled over Presbyterian, right through seminary (often it came out pruh-BREST-ri-an, which makes no sense except to a freudian therapist I suppose)

  6. As a kid, I used to think "misled" was pronounced "mizzled" -- when I saw it in print -- even though I knew the word "misled" as to spoken English. I just thought they were synonyms.