View Full Version : Words you knew the definition to but said incorrectly

Darth Ultor
06-08-2011, 10:59 PM
You know you had them. These are words I've been saying wrong up through my teenage years and some of them through my twenties.

Vehement: ve-HEE-ment
Condescending: CONDESS-ending
Burgundy: Ber-GUN-dy
Camaraderie: (all short A's) Cam-ra-jrie
Penitentiary: Peni-ten-chee-airy
Parabola: Para-bola
Unrequited: Un-re-quit-ed
Diadem: Dee-a-dem

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06-08-2011, 11:28 PM
I actually consider this kind of thing to be one of the most distressing and shaming common events in life. It just happens all the time: you see a word written approximately seventy kaskillion times, you never think much about its pronunciation (or do think about it and come to a reasonable yet incorrect conclusion), and then when you finally hear someone say it out loud after the first ten or twelve years you've known it you find that it's nothing like you thought and, indeed, you may have said it wrong uncorrected about twenty or thirty times before. For instance, just seeing "tabernacle" in print, I thought it was tuh-BURN-uh-kull, although TAY-burr-nay-kull would have been a good guess as well. Then one day in theology class in high school I heard the teacher say TABB-ur-nack-ull and I thought to myself, "Whaaa--is that it?? Have I had it wrong all these years???"

Of course what's at least as frustrating is when the first time you hear it out loud it's the other guy who's mispronouncing it and it turns out you had it right all along. This happened to me just the other day, in fact: I heard Keir Dullea pronounce "pique" as "pick" on the commentary track to the 2001: A Space Odyssey DVD. The next day I looked it up and found it really was "peek" as I had thought; I'd had my doubts.

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