21 words gaining notoriety under the #mispronounced hashtag

Perhaps you’ve done it yourself, saying ‘mizzled’ when reading ‘misled.’ To help you avoid a verbal fracas, we offer a cache of common linguistic foie gras. Oops—that should be ‘faux pas.’

21 mispronounced words

Under the #mispronounced hashtag, Twitter users are sharing words they’ve hilariously misspoken.

The tweets are spectacular.

The English language—with its silent letters, odd accent placement, and words borrowed from other languages—can be a pronunciation minefield. Below are some of the most common mispronounced words Twitter users are sharing. Click on the word to hear the sometimes-surprising and sometimes-controversial pronunciations.

(Definitions and pronunciations are from Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com.)

1. Açai—a small, purple berrylike fruit that comes from palm trees found in Central and South America.

2. Anemone—a plant related to the buttercup family; a sea anemone is a sedentary, tubular marine animal.

3. Banal—boring, hackneyed or trite.

4. Bruschetta—an appetizer of toasted bread with olive oil and tomatoes.

5. Cache—a hiding place; a secure area for storage; temporary computer storage or memory. Often confused with

6. Edinburgh—the capital of Scotland.

7. Ennui—restless dissatisfaction; boredom.

8. Epitome—a person or thing that is a typical example; an abstract or brief account.

9. Espresso—coffee made by forcing steam and boiling water through ground dark-roasted coffee beans.

10. Faux pas—a blunder or mistake.

11. Foie gras—a dish made from the fattened liver of an animal, particularly a goose.

12. Fracas—a noisy argument or brawl.

13. GIF—a computer file format; a file or image stored in this format.

14. Hors d’oeuvres—appetizers or small snacks.

15. Mischievous—causing trouble or annoyance.

16. Niche—a recess in a wall; a sheltered or private space; a habitat.

17. Primer—a book for teaching children to read; an introductory book or work on a subject. Primer is a material or device used for priming a surface.

18. Quiche—a pastry shell filled with cooked custard and other ingredients.

19. Quinoa—a tall crop plant that is cultivated for its starchy seeds which are used as food.

20. Remuneration—something that rewards or pays; often mispronounced as renumeration.

21. Sherbet—a frozen dessert made with skim milk, sugar and flavoring.

Any words to add to this list?

Laura Hale Brockway is a writer/editor/marketer/ living in Austin, Texas. Read more of her work on PR Daily and at Impertinent Remarks.

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