Tuesday 11 March 2014

Deaf Girl's mispronunciation

This morning I read a news article in The Guardian about common words the people pronounce wrong and it I was genuinely surprised that not one of the words on the list was on my list of things I get wrong.

Things like espresso, prescription and etcetera – all of which I say correctly.

It reminded me of the time I went to the pub quiz with Friend Who Knows Big Words and the guy holding it couldn't pronounce 'pronunciation' correctly and eventually FWKBW had to step in and correct him to prevent herself from smashing something in rage.

But there are words I can't get right.

Things like 'alt' that button on the computer keyboard. Should be alt like alternative, right? Not according to me.

When I was little I discovered that envelope was another word for wrap up and used it with glee – saying it the same way as the stationery until someone corrected me.

Then there was the Versailles and Marseilles debacle – read all about that here – which reminds me I don't know how to pronounce debacle either.

As a child I couldn't pronounce sausages, because it's quite hard to lipread. I couldn't pronounce schizophrenic either and once spent a whole weekend practising this – much to the rents' alarm.

But the thing is, when I do pronounce something wrong, I blush a furious red shade and feel rubbish. I can't help it. It's an immediate reaction.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to get braver and learn more words I can't pronounce. I'm going to ask for help in saying words I am not sure about starting with:


Phonetic answers on a postcard please and look out for the deaf blonde girl wandering around repeating debacle, ricin, tortilla over and over to herself, with few schizophrenias and Versailles thrown in, too.


Musical Lottie said...

Hello, sporadic reader and probably first-time commenter here. I have APD so understand the frustrations of being deaf when it comes to conversations with multiple people / in background noise / pretty much anywhere with less-than ideal acoustics. But it also means that I know how to pronounce most words if I have heard them spoken. (Heh, many words I read in my childhood turned out to be pronounced completely differently from how I'd thought! But that was just due to never having encountered them spoken.) So:

debacle: day-barcle/d'barcle (to rhyme with 'sparkle')
ricin: rice-in
tortilla: tor-tee-ya

I do enjoy reading your posts :)

Anonymous said...

My daughter thinks it's hilarious when I try to talk about Afghanistan!!

Anonymous said...

Miss your blog!

Anonymous said...

"Ph", "F" and "V"
Watching the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with my daughter and discovered that "Latvia" isn't pronounced "Laffia".
Even after my daughter repeated "Latvia" a half dozen times, it is still "Laffia" to me.
Lots of giggling!
I'm 51 yers old and can't believe there are words I've pronounced wrong all my life!

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