The Aladdin's Cave

Hi, thanks for stopping by! The dictionary defines the idiom “The Aladdin’s Cave” as “a collection of interesting and beautiful objects”. Likewise, my website is a potpourri where you can browse and read from a variegated collection of articles on sundry subjects. Be prepared to stumble upon pieces ranging from noodles to analytics and from novels to friendships. Like what you read? Thanks a ton for being such a sweetheart. Don’t find it up to the mark? Well, blame it on back-breaking expectations ;) Jolly Reading!

Pronunciation Bloopers – 3

Hey there, everyone!

I hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving/vacation/weekend and I pray that we always have plenty to be thankful for! More importantly though, I hope that we always are thankful for all that we have, instead of taking things and people and life in general for granted. And I take this moment to thank each one of you for encouraging me to keep writing, and for all you love and support. It really, really means a lot to me.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

After Pronunciation Bloopers – 1 and Pronunciation Bloopers – 2, I am here to present to you the third part in this series dealing with some commonly misspoken English words. This set of words might contain a shocker or two for the non-native speakers of the language. But before dismissing any particularly unpleasant pronunciation with  the utterance of ‘Smoke and Mirrors!’ and forsaking this website, kindly refer to your trusted dictionary and check for yourself. And then, you might be willing to give the fourth post in this series a chance too, which will be out soon.  Now I invite you to take a look at the following list, and to let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Word Comment on Pronunciation Note
Respite [res-pit] – US , [res-pite] – UK Mishi – Pit as in bit (US), pite as in bite (UK); Thanks Sumit!
Up-to-date [uhp-tuh-deyt], not [up-to-date] Mishi – Please don’t ask me why, and I know this hurts! 🙁
Steward [stoo-erd, styoo-erd], not [stee-ward] Mishi – Yeah, ‘ste’ + ‘ward’ messes up both the parts
Icon [i-kon], not [i-kan] Mishi – Just pronounce I and con separately, as we do in iPhone and iStore
Awry [uh-rahy], not [aww-ree], nor [aww-rye] Mishi – The pronunciation goes awry, if we pronounce it as ‘aww-ree’ or ‘aww-rye’
Opportunity [op-er-too-ni-tee,op-er -tyoo-ni-tee], not [op-er-chyu-ni-tee] Mishi – The language takes a phonetic turn with this word; just pronounce it as you see it, don’t have to end it with ‘choonity’ or ‘chyunity’!
Vehicle [vee-i-kuh-l , vee-hi-kuh-l], not [vay-hi-kuh-l] Mishi – A very-commonly used and very-commonly misspoken word!
Category [kat-i-gawr-ee, -gohr-ee], not [kat-a-gary] Mishi – Remember ‘mandatory’ from the first  post in this series? We should treat category as its mispronounced cousin.
Longevity [lon-jev-i-tee, lawn-], not [long-i-vity] Mishi – Even though it has ‘long’ in it, we cannot just append ‘-ivity’ to ‘long’; the pronunciation is quite different with ‘jev’ in the middle.
Tomb [toom], not [toom-b], not [tom-b] Mishi – Double the ‘o’ and forget the ‘b’ to pronounce it correctly; thanks Tarun – for suggesting this one!

Have a great week ahead!

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  1. True, Shiks – and not a happy one 🙁 Thank you for being such a regular reader and commentor :):)

  2. Thanks for reading and for your comment, dear! And with your illustration of the Hindi word, you have made me realize how easy it is to overlook the idiosyncrasies of your mother tongue. Honestly, I couldn’t have imagined that there could be a single instance when Hindi would not be 100% phonetic. Being a polyglot makes you far more aware of these nuances 🙂

  3. “Up-to-date” is an interesting case, and I can see how it would be frustrating to pronounce something “correctly” only to realize that native speakers don’t say it that way. A lot of phrases are similar to this one, in that people take shortcuts and don’t fully pronounce words. For example, “What do you want to do?” becomes “Whaddya wanna do?” “I’m going to” becomes “I’m gonna.” This reminds me of when I first started learning Hindi, and realized that the word for “s/he” is pronounced “voh” and not “vuh-huh.” Very confusing at first!

  4. Hummmm…..up to date was a surprise!!

  5. Hey Akshat, ‘despite’ would end in ‘pite’ as in bite. Also, I was wrong about the pronunciation of ‘respite’ as it can be pronounced both ways. After receiving feedback from a friend of mine, I’ve updated the list. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  6. I know! Of all the words, I never thought I would be pronouncing ‘to’ wrong!! This is really pointless. 🙁

  7. Akshat Srivastava

    December 1, 2015 at 2:32 am

    What about Despite then??

  8. Gunjan Srivastava

    December 1, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Arrrrggh up-to-date? That’s so annoying.

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