Why We Mispronounce Words: From Carpool Tunnel Syndrome To Mute Points
Have you been known to tell your friends, “well that’s a mute point!” or perhaps you’ve started a sentence with “for all intensive purposes.” If so, you’re one of the millions of us who occasionally mispronounces, misspells or misunderstands a word or phrase.
As part of our occasional series about words and how we use them, Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to Ariel Goldberg, director of Tufts University’s Psycholinguistics & Linguistics Lab about what goes on in our brains when we undertake the complex task of speaking.
Here are 10 of our favorite responses on Twitter:
@hereandnowrobin when my sis was a preteen she read fatigue as fat-ig-you. She died 5 years ago and I remember her every time I see the word
— Kristin Williams (@ckwilliams22) July 9, 2015
@hereandnowrobin Until a few years ago I thought posthumous was pronounced post humous. It really makes more sense, right?
— Mallory Righter (@maux_maux) July 9, 2015
@hereandnowrobin Our son used to pronounce Yosemite with a long “o, ” emphasis on the “Yos, ” last syllable with a long “I.”
— Jonathan Spencer (@JonASpencer) July 9, 2015
@hereandnowrobin I mispronounced “faćade” until my exit project advisor in college corrected me. I was a landscape architecture major…
— Bert Manning (@clemsontgr84) July 9, 2015
@hereandnowrobin I always thought Baccalaureate was pronounced “Bachelorette”
— Joey Renken (@JoeRenken) July 9, 2015
— Lars Bruchmann (@pilotlars) July 9, 2015
— katherine cooper (@kcooper1203) July 9, 2015
@hereandnow As a kid, I pronounced ‘niches’ as ‘neetches,’ like some sort of creature from a Dr. Seuss book.
— Amy Clark (@TheatreGeekAmy) July 9, 2015
@hereandnow I thought our English teacher loved us all, when she greeted us with “Good morning to I love you (all of you)!”
— Wolf Wackeroth (@wlfmw) July 9, 2015
@hereandnow UNKA-knee [uncanny]
— boygobong (@boygobong) July 9, 2015
- Ariel Goldberg, director of the Psycholinguistics & Linguistics Lab at Tufts University, where he is also an assistant professor of psychology. He tweets @arielmc_g.
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