Sunday, November 18, 2018

Words you might have been mispronouncing or misusing since grade school

This has been in my drafts for a while now, but two nights ago at a bridal shower, a colleague pronounced Versace correctly ("verSACHeh," not "verSACHee") when he referred to Bruno Mars' song "Versace on the Floor" (I swooned) and the friend for whom we were throwing the bridal shower understood what I meant when I said Thames with the correct pronunciation ("tems"). And she even said Thames properly too (swooned again).

So two correctly pronounced words, not the more frequent mispronunciations, actually made me finally publish this post. This is a reminder that a lot of times, simply pronouncing things and using words and phrases right can make you seem like a smarter person. And cause guys like me to swoon.


Toll
Most commonly used when referring to toll gates and the fees paid when going past them. And toll-free hotlines. It should be pronounced to rhyme with "coal." Unless katropa mo 'yung gate, it is not pronounced the same as "tall."

Roll
Similar to "toll," it is not pronounced like it rhymes with "tall."

Whole
Correct pronunciation same as "toll" and "roll." It is not pronounced like it rhymes with "rule," although you might have been taught to pronounce it that way by school teachers who demanded you "bring out one HOOL sheet of paper" during exams.

Centennial
"CenTENnial," not "cenTEENnial." I hear the mispronunciation a lot when I'm in my hometown in Cavite, because there's a Centennial Road beside which a lot of businesses are now being built. Also when there are centennial anniversaries.

Firm
There really is nothing that rhymes with how this word is incorrectly pronounced, which should be an indication why it shouldn't be said that way. It's pronounced like "fur" but add an "m" after.

Confirm
See above. I hear this a lot in the call center setting. "Ma'am, conFEERM ko lang po ang inyong address for the delivery."

Strawberry
You either pronounce the "e" or you don't, but the "berry" part should not be pronounced like "furry."

Bury
Also not pronounced like "furry" but rather exactly like "berry."

Intermittent
Very commonly heard nowadays due to the popularity of intermittent fasting. It's so often mispronounced, though it's just stress on the wrong syllable (inTERmittent), that I actually started to doubt my knowledge of how it should be pronounced (INtermittent).

Irregardless
Treat this word like a multiplication equation. If "regard" is a positive number and "ir" and "less" are negative numbers, then multiplying all three of them will yield a positive number, which isn't the message "regardless," a.k.a. the word you should really be using, is portraying. If you use the word "irregardless," you might as well have used "with regard to."

Not unless
Same as with "irregardless." "Unless" is a negative number and although "not" is a negative word, let's just say that in this equation it is a positive number. Multiplying these two numbers will yield a negative number, which isn't the message you want to be portraying in your use of the term "unless." Adding "not" basically cancels out the intent of your use of "unless."

Fill up
If you mean to fill a pitcher with water, then go ahead and use "fill up" (though some might argue that, one, like with "stand up" the preposition "up" is unnecessary, as there is no other direction you could be going if you're getting up from being seated, and two, there is no such thing as "fill down" anyway). But if you mean to accomplish a form, you should really be saying "fill out." "Fill in" is acceptable too, to mean the filling in of the boxes in a form.

2 comment(s):

Joan Narciso said...

And this just made me miss you more. Haha.

leeflailmarch said...

@Joan: Hahaha! <3