I hope you have mastered the previous lists in this series and are ready to absorb the ones that I present in this new set. In case you are new here or need a quick refresher course, please refer to Pronunciation Bloopers – 1, Pronunciation Bloopers – 2 and Pronunciation Bloopers – 3 to familiarize yourself with the other potential bloopers In this list, we will tackle some seemingly-simple but possibly-treacherous words that take great pleasure in tripping the non-native speakers of the English language. Ha, what a cruel world we live in! I will never understand why we need to have Hs and Gs and Ls and Bs planted in those words where we never intended to pronounce them in the first place. Anyway, since nobody is asking me for my expert opinion, I will stick to doing what I can – memorizing these pronunciations and making my peace with them. And I advise you to consider doing the same thing, for the joys provided to us by the English language greatly outnumber the few pains that it directs our way.
|Word||Comment on Pronunciation||Note|
|Elect||[ih-lekt] , not [ai-lekt]||The ‘e’ at the beginning pompously breaks itself from the rest of the letters. The pronunciation for both ‘elect’ and ‘election’ start with an ‘e’, and not with an ‘el’.|
|Cough||[kawf, kof], not [kuff]||Yep, to add to the misery of cold and cough, we must be mindful not to make this one rhyme with puff and tough.|
|Lieu||[loo], not [lyu]||Lieu rhymes with flu and clue – and you might want to glue this to your mind.|
|Loose||[loos], not [looz]||With loose and goose, the language is uncharacteristically phonetic. But the same cannot be said for lose that rhymes with ooze.|
|Crumb||[kruhm], not [krum-b]||Let’s be as particular about this one as Monica (from Friends, of course) is about her ‘no crumbies’ rule!|
|Dumb||[[duhm], not [dum-b]||In case this makes you feel a little dumb, trust me you are not alone.|
[tree-oh], not [try-oh]
|Remember this one from the golden trio – Harry, Ron and Hermione! Since we talk about this trio so very often, we definitely don’t wanna get this wrong.|
|Plumber||[pluhm-er] not [pluhm-ber]||Another one where the ‘b’ is just ornamental 🙁|
|Ghost||[gohst], not [gh-ost]||What? Did you say that ‘h’ in ghost is silent? Now this one is certainly gonna haunt me for a while.|
|Meticulous||[muh–tik-yuh-luh s], not [met-tik-yuh-luh s]||If you are a meticulous speaker of English, you must remember this one to uphold your reputation.|
As always, I would love to receive your feedback and suggestions through the comments. Take care and stay tuned for more of these!