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#101 2009-01-24 16:08:51

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 827

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

As a child I assumed that ‘impious’ was IMPIous rather than imPIous and was something to do with imps and impishness, which seems to fit quite neatly with an absence of piety, though I may have been influenced by the example of mischief/mischievious. (I know the latter is mis-spelled but a surprising number of folk insist on sounding that extra syllable, and it scores more raw hits than the standard.)

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#102 2009-01-31 01:35:31

klakritz
Eggcornista
From: Winchester Massachusetts
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 674

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

‘Poetaster’ showed up on an old ‘odd-sounding words’ thread but it belongs on this thread too because of the impulse to read it as ‘poe-taster.’

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#103 2009-03-01 14:19:36

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

patschwieterman wrote:

…“awry pronounced AW-ree. Related somehow in my mind to awkward, gawky, etc.” ¶ Nice one. You certainly do want to go “awww” sometimes for certain awkward, gawky people for whom everything seems always to go unaccountably awry.

Closely related is “askew” pronounced like “ask you”. And both are iconic to their meanings, of course.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#104 2009-03-21 19:08:33

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Nother one: from an ancient review by Whittaker Chambers, of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged :

… all this debased inhuman riffraff is lumped as “looters.” This is a fairly inspired epithet. It enables the author to skewer on one invective word everything and everybody that she fears and hates. This spares her the playguy business of performing one service that her fiction might have performed, namely: that of examining in human depth how so feeble a lot came to exist at all, let alone be powerful enough to be worth hating and fearing.

Did any of you get “playguy” as a parallel to “playboy” and “playgirl”? I’m not surprised, checking the internet to find a gay magazine with that name.

Of course, he meant “plaguy”, but even that is not easy to read. “Plaguey” is rightfully a common spelling.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2009-03-21 19:12:00)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#105 2009-04-18 22:35:11

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

This morning I was reading the SF story “An Ocean Is a Snowflake, Four Billion Miles Away” by John Barnes when I stumbled over the word “deopaqued.” It looked at first like it should have something to do with divinity, but the context makes it much less opaque: “Thorby and Leoa deopaqued their helmets completely and turned on collar lights” (p. 44 in The Year’s Best Science Fiction, vol. 25). The internet reveals that the word was originally spelled “de-opaqued” when the story first appeared in an online magazine. It’s not clear to me whether the editor of the collection I was reading (Gardner Dozois, for the SF affectionados among you) thought “deopaqued” was an improvement, or whether he was just following a house standard.

Googling the word in both spellings brings up a small batch of hits—virtually all of them from science fiction stories. Iain M. Banks and Brian Aldiss are among the better-known writers who’ve helped solidify the standing of “deopaqued” in the lexicon.

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#106 2010-01-03 19:49:49

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Doing my part to keep the thread alive.

I had trouble with many of the same words as above, as well as the following. For me, ‘dearth’ rhymed with ‘earth’ until I learned as an adult, still some years before Star Wars, that it rhymes with ‘hearth’. ‘Banal’ rhymed with ‘anal’. I still can’t bring myself to pronounce it as ‘bə-NAL’ and so I don’t use it. Another bête noire is ‘navel’. I pronounced it as a homophone of ‘naval’, but my best friend called it, once, when we were kids, ‘nə-VEL’, and somehow that was enough to sear that pronunciation into my memory for life. I can’t say ‘navəl’ unselfconsciously now.

Other misreads: ‘anathema’ as ‘anna-THEE-ma’, ‘mausoleum’ as ‘mah-SOLE-ium’.

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#107 2010-01-03 21:35:04

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2135

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

For me, ‘dearth’ rhymed with ‘earth’ until I learned as an adult, still some years before Star Wars, that it rhymes with ‘hearth’.

Dearth? It does rhyme with earth. Or am I misreading your post?

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#108 2010-01-03 21:45:32

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Mon Dieu! Fooled by another friend in whom I had unquestioning faith. So he misread it. Classic.

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#109 2010-01-03 22:01:22

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

David Bird wrote:

...’Banal’ rhymed with ‘anal’. I still can’t bring myself to pronounce it as ‘bə-NAL’ and so I don’t use it.

Good news, David—you can start using ‘banal’ again. My dictionary (The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition) gives three pronunciations for ‘banal’, including both of the ones you mention.

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#110 2010-01-03 22:06:34

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

David Bird wrote:

Mon Dieu! Fooled by another friend in whom I had unquestioning faith.

So much for unquestioning faith!

I don’t remember who told me that ‘chimera’ is pronounced ‘KI-mer-a’ (with the first two syllables rhyming with ‘glimmer’), but I pronounced it that way for years.

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#111 2010-01-03 23:02:43

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Dixon Wragg wrote:

I don’t remember who told me that ‘chimera’ is pronounced ‘KI-mer-a’ (with the first two syllables rhyming with ‘glimmer’), but I pronounced it that way for years.

Funny you should mention that—just a few years ago, I “corrected” the pronunciation of someone who said “kye-MEER-uh” ; I recommended instead the pronunciation you just mentioned. Fortunately, he wasn’t easily persuaded, and a quick check of the dictionary left me redfaced—and wondering why I’d been so sure when I was so wrong.

But I’ve done worse. During the big “New Age Music” boom of the 1980s and early 1990s, I was working in a record store that sold lots of it. An older lady came in one afternoon, looking for a cassette by Mark Isham—she pronounced it with a long “i.” We sold a lot of his stuff, and I’d heard the name a lot from coworkers—I knew she’d pronounced it incorrectly and wanted to spare her embarrassment in the future. I pointed her to the section, and then gently pointed out that I believed the first syllable of the name was pronounced like “fish.” She fixed me with a steely gaze and said, “I’m Mark Isham’s mother—and it’s EYE-shum!” The check she used to pay for the tape had the Isham surname on it—oops!

Still wondering why Mark couldn’t get his mom a deal on that tape, though.

Aren’t you all getting nostalgic? Cassettes? Checks? Next I’ll be talking about Hall and Oates…. And aren’t you all jealous at my rubbing elbows with celebrities, or at least their moms? That ain’t nothin—Paula Abdul once called me on the phone. We talked about earthquakes. Well, earthquakes and the performance of her latest single.

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#112 2010-01-03 23:35:20

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

patschwieterman wrote:

Funny you should mention that—just a few years ago, I “corrected” the pronunciation of someone who said “kye-MEER-uh” ; I recommended instead the pronunciation you just mentioned. Fortunately, he wasn’t easily persuaded, and a quick check of the dictionary left me redfaced—and wondering why I’d been so sure when I was so wrong.

This raises the obvious question: How could both of us have been so sure of the same unlikely mispronunciation? Did we get it from the same source? Try as I might, I can’t remember where I got it from; how about you?

Re: Your Mark Isham story— I’ve been pronouncing his name right for years, but only by dumb luck. Often we assume that if most everyone pronounces something the same way, it’s the right way, when in fact everyone is just copying someone who hazarded a guess. Sometimes even the most obvious pronunciations are wrong. Years ago when I saw Ray Davies of the Kinks doing his excellent storytelling/music show, he repeatedly pronounced his last name “Davis”. I’m not arguing with him!

I’m still not sure how to pronounce the last name of Jethro Tull’s lead guitarist Martin Barre.

Rock On! (or, in the case of Isham, snooze on!)

Dixon

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#113 2010-01-04 19:44:08

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Dearth? It does rhyme with earth. Or am I misreading your post?

By rights it should have the same vowel sound as “dear”, shouldn’t it? (This is one of the ones that I had an “aha!” moment over when well into adulthood: dear : dearth :: true : truth :: rue :: ruth(less) and so fore:forth.)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#114 2010-01-04 23:06:56

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

DavidTuggy wrote:

(This is one of the ones that I had an “aha” moment over when well into adulthood: dear : dearth :: true : truth :: rue :: ruth(less) and so fore:forth.)

Aha indeed! Very good insight, and a new one to me. Maybe strong :: strength would be another example? Too bad similar words like earth, hearth, worth don’t seem to fit the etymological pattern.

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#115 2010-02-24 22:08:02

tyler
Member
Registered: 2010-01-20
Posts: 17

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Two words that fooled me for a long time were draught and carafe.

The first, draught, I think I originally encountered first in the works of Tolkien (“ent draught”), and inferred from context that it meant “a deeply refreshing drink”. This was re-enforced in later reading when it was used in such contexts as “so-and-so took a long draught of ale”. I also at some point was made aware that (in the plural) it was another term for the game that we Americans call checkers. The whole time, though, I was convinced that it was pronounced “draw-t”. It was only when I finally came upon the word in the phrase “a draughty house” that I realized it was simply the British spelling of the word “draft”. This revelation did not occur until I was 17 or so years old.

The second word, carafe, I had always pronounced as a hyperforeignism: “CARE-a-fay”, I suppose by analogy with “café”. This one persisted until just last year when I attempted to correct my father on his pronunciation as “car-AFF”. He insisted that he was correct, which I wasn’t inclined to believe given his penchant for eggcorns such as “old-timer’s disease”, other mispronunciations like “nucular”, and his frequent use of the dreaded “irregardless”. However, when I went to Miriam Webster’s website to play the audio pronunciation to prove him wrong, I discovered much to my embarrassment that I am not even close to infallible.

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#116 2010-02-27 00:25:41

yanogator
Eggcornista
Registered: 2007-06-08
Posts: 70

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

When I read Pilgrim’s Progress, he went throught the “sluff” of despond, since the only slough I knew was to shed skin or the like, and I knew how to pronounce that.

Bruce

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#117 2011-06-14 18:59:53

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

patschwieterman wrote:

Do speculative secondhand accounts count? I was told about about the FOAF who thought “entranced” (as in being in a trance) was stressed on the first syllable—it made sense to the FOAF, and they argued about it. (I think both people were teens at the time.) I don’t think I thought to ask about rationale, but I wonder whether the speaker might have been envisioning being “entered” by some power that takes you over. (Kinda like the “inspiration” sent by the muse.) But I’m guessing.

I was wondering about this word too, and the possibility of a double misapprehension. I found two hits:

Not twenty feet from the spot where he stood,
Were three massive doorways carved in wood.
He stood before them, completely in awe,
His gaze transfixed by one special door.
Entranced and exited, with a slight sense of worry,
Jack opened the door, to a white windy flurry.
Fan fic

What makes Twilight so interesting?
its fresh, new, exiting and entrancing… what more can i say??

Likely a simple misspell, but who knows. “Exited” would be “beside yourself, transported”.

Last edited by David Bird (2011-06-16 13:06:35)

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#118 2011-06-19 21:38:51

buzhwa
Member
From: southeast Michigan, USA
Registered: 2007-01-05
Posts: 20

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I definitely did this with ‘chaos’ when I was younger – I think I was reading something aloud from a book to my mom and said “chows”.

Also, I just parsed “Entranced and exited” from David Bird’s post above with the pronunciation “EN-tr@nst”, like if you made entrance a past tense verb, as if the verbs meant using both an entrance and an exit =p

Last edited by buzhwa (2011-06-19 21:59:21)

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#119 2011-12-02 02:13:55

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Y’all might enjoy this misleading article article by Geoffrey Pullum regarding this kind of goof.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#120 2012-05-28 18:28:58

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 943

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

A writer I heard interviewed on the radio this afternoon, who grew up on a farm, presumably with good access to a library, pronounced ‘poignant’ with a hard g, joining JonW719, Eggcornista (post #89 in this thread).

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#121 2012-05-29 15:02:00

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Craig C Clarke wrote:

My grandfather grew up speaking French in New York State, which makes this a little harder to understand. He apparently hated his father, and I believe partly for that reason changed his name when he was a very young man. Only my grandmother knew the details because he kept his “past name” completely hidden, even his children didn’t know his birth name until Grandma told them after he died. He chose the name Maurice Lyon Xavier. I think I was told he got the name, or part of it anyway, from choosing words from magazines he read.
.
Anyway, he pronounced his name “Morris,” and since all adults called him that it was some time before I realized that it was spelled Maurice. I’m not sure why he read the word Maurice as Morris, given that he grew up speaking French, that’s the part I don’t understand.

Craig, if he was from a Québecois family, “Morris” would be closer to his native pronunciation than “Morreece”. The big difference would be in the emphasis, which is strongly on the first syllable in English but is more or less evenly spread among syllables in Québec.

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#122 2013-02-07 22:51:54

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I grew up in an environment where profanity was (refreshingly) quite rare. When I ran across “effing” occasionally in print I had no idea it was a euphemism: heck, I didn’t even know the word it was euphemizing. (You know why people go to heck, don’t you? It’s because they don’t believe in Gosh.) Anyhow, I was sure effing was built on the same root as ineffable. I’m not sure how I thought the semantics worked back then: it seems to me now (and may have then too) that the contexts where effing was used were such as to evoke garrulous behavior, so effing might mean “calling forth/taxing one’s verbosity”, whereas ineffable would mean much as it does standardly, “so wonderful as to prohibit description, overpowering one’s verbal powers”.

(Reminiscences prompted by David B’s effing egg thread.)

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2013-02-07 22:54:54)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#123 2013-02-08 03:05:32

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 636

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

DavidTuggy wrote:

I grew up in an environment where profanity was (refreshingly) quite rare. When I ran across “effing” occasionally in print I had no idea it was a euphemism: heck, I didn’t even know the word it was euphemizing.

Clearly, DavidTuggy, your vocabulary was woefully inadequate, apparently due to widespread censorship. I’m happy that the Eggcorn Forum has apparently helped remedy that deficiency. Fuckin’ A!

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#124 2013-02-08 16:09:39

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1763
Website

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

Dixon Wragg wrote:

I’m happy that the Eggcorn Forum has apparently helped remedy that deficiency. Fuckin’ A

Oh, the deficiency had (fortunately or unfortunately) been remedied long before! The Effing Egg post just brought the whole process to mind again. And the censorship was mostly self-censorship; the people I was raised with liked to mean what they said: if they mentioned God or Hell they intended to refer to him or it, and if they spoke of effing (though they would probably have picked a different vocabulary item) they would have meant it quite literally.

Last edited by DavidTuggy (2013-02-10 16:33:42)


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#125 2013-07-09 03:06:19

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1178

Re: Things you read and understood but mispronounced in your mind

I watched the new movie “The Numbers Station” tonight. The psychologist assessing the mental state of burned-out spook John Cusack asks him if he has qualms, pronounced qua as in quack, and lms as in elms.

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