What Did You Just Say? Fifteen Words And Phrases You May Be Pronouncing Wrong

The English language can be tough sometimes. After all, this is the great melting pot! We have adopted many different words and phrases from our friends in other countries over the years, and we don’t always use them properly! 

Have you ever caught yourself saying “expresso,” or “excetera?”

If so, this list is for you!

 

 1. One In The Same vs. One And The Same

“One in the same” is incorrect. If you are using this phrase to talk about two things that appear to be the exact same, they would be as one. This being said, “One and the same” is correct, and makes much more sense.

2. Acrossed/Acrost vs. Across

It’s easy to get this one confused, wanting to relate the words “crossed” and  “acrossed” makes sense. However, “acrossed” is not a word, the correct form of this word is simply “across.”

3. On Accident vs. By Accident

Things happen by accident, not on accident. These prepositions easily get mixed up, but “By accident” makes more sense, and is the correct wording for this phrase.

4. Artic vs. Arctic

The “c” sound is often left out in the middle of this word. It should be pronounced “arc-tic,” not “art-ic.”

5. Pacific vs. Specific

These are both functional words, however they have completely different meanings. “Pacific” means “peaceful in intent,” or of course, could be referring to the Pacific Ocean. “Specific” means “clearly defined or identified.” You want to ask someone to be more “specific.” Not more “pacific.” (unless you’d like them to be more peaceful, I suppose.)

6. Bob Wire vs. Barbed Wire

Barbed wire has barbs, it is in no way named after someone named Bob (Or Barb Dwyer for that matter). You should hear that “-d” in the pronunciation.

7. Irregardless vs. Regardless

 This word often gets the extra sound added to the front. The word is regardless, not Irregardless. adding “ir”  this would make this a double negative.

8. Old Timers Disease vs. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is often mispronounced, while it is a disease of the elderly, it’s title is derived from the founder’s own name, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, the German neurologist.

9. A Blessing In The Skies vs. A Blessing In Disguise

I understand where this could have come from, like a blessing from God. However, the phrase is a blessing in disguise. Not a blessing in the sky or from the skies.

10. For All Intensive Purposes vs. For All Intents And Purposes

This has nothing to do with intensive care, or being intense. This phrase means “for every practical sense.” “All intensive purposes” does not make sense. Thankfully for writers, this is an error that grammar check will catch!

11. Expecially vs. Especially

The “s” in this is often switched for an “x”. Although things special are rarely expected, these are two different words. The correct word is “especially.”

 12. Expresso vs. Espresso

Along with the beverage, this word was borrowed from Italy, where the Latin prefix ex- has developed into es-. This word is often mispronounced with the “ex”, however, it is “espresso.”

13. Excape vs. Escape

Three in a row! Another “x” sneaking in where an “s” should be. The proper is “escape.”

14. Excetera vs. Et Cetera

This is a Latin phrase which means “the rest”, often abbreviated “etc.” It is two words, “Et cetera” not Excetera.

15. Supposebly vs. Supposedly

The word “supposedly” means “allegedly, theoretically or purportedly.”  This mispronunciation, “supposebly,” could actually be a word in English, literally meaning “capable of being supposed”. If that is what you want to say, the word is not actually an error!

 Do you struggle with any of these mispronunciations? What are some grammar errors that drive you crazy?

 

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12 thoughts on “What Did You Just Say? Fifteen Words And Phrases You May Be Pronouncing Wrong

  1. However annoying it is, irregardless is actually a perfectly acceptable word. Contrary to popular belief, double negatives do exist in English and are a major linguistic feature of several dialect, particularly AAVE. Excape (like axe instead of ask) is another thing you’ll find in AAVE.

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  2. A very fine list of common errors. 🙂
    When I first began writing this common problem was brought to my attention. I was so pleased to be given this instruction I’d like to pass it on:
    The use of “your’ instead of “you’re” and vice versa.
    ___
    You’re is a contraction of you are. If you can’t expand it, then it is wrong. As in:
    Please buy me some bread when you’re at the shop.
    Here it expands to ‘you are’ at the shop. Hence this is correct.
    ___
    I do love you’re way of writing.
    Here it doesn’t expand to you are. Hence this is incorrect. It should be:
    I do love your way of writing.

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