Mispronounciation leads to misspelling

January 29, 2018 at 2:33 am Leave a comment

Mispronounciation leads to misspelling

Find a person who mispronounces a word and I bet you’ll see they also misspell it!

Take a look at the heading of this post – it’s hard to pick the spelling error because you probably said mis-pro-noun-ci-ay-shon as most people do rather than the correct mis-pro-nun-ci-ay-shon.  If you – or others – say it wrong you’re likely to spell it incorrectly as well.

How would you go spelling the Australian cities of Melben or Brisben if you’d only ever heard these city names said like this by an Aussie and never actually seen them written as Melbourne and Brisbane anywhere? Most people take a first stab at spelling a word based on how they say it or hear it– that is they spell phonetically and this in turn can become a countries adopted way of actually spelling that word. Take “aluminum”, the shortened version of aluminium that the Americas adopted. A lot of these words are adapted due to a change in where a country places the emphasis. The German sporting brand founded by Adolf Dassler is an adaption of his name – Adi (a diminutive form of Adolf)  and Das the start of his surname. In Germany this is “uddy-duss” yet in America they change the emphasis to the middle syllable and say “Ah-DEE-dus.”

Anther commonly mispronounced word is “expresso” instead of espresso and those who say the word with an x will likely spell it with an x . Likewise folks who mistakenly orientate others to a way of thinking rather than orient them will also likely use the wrong spelling or in this case, word.

It does become difficult when pronouncing countries brand names steeped in culturally specific phonetics such as Hermes which has the silent French H and is pronounced as “Air-mez” and Volkswagon – which has the German V pronounced as F and the W as a V and should actually be “folks-vah-gen” And of course, the old favourite “Moët” — often pronounced as “Mo-eee” or “Mo-way”. The name is of Dutch origin and is correctly pronounced as “Mo-wett”.

Luckily there’s plenty of sites that will  help you to not only pronounce a word correctly but spell it correctly as well so next time you want to get it right just type the word into Google (or other) and you’ll likely get a chance to hear how it should be said as well as see how it should be spelt.  One word of warning though –  check the country that posted the pronunciation first!


Entry filed under: Language and grammar tips. Tags: , , , .

Punctuation, makes a difference!

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