Because English doesn’t always sound the way it looks.

By Liz Steelman
January 02, 2018

Many times, our first introduction to a new vocabulary word comes from reading, not from hearing it spoken aloud or in everyday conversation. And since finicky English isn’t always the user-friendliest language, when it comes time to sprinkle your speech with the perfect word, you might end up saying it the way it looks, not how the way it's actually pronounced. Though commonly mispronounced words might invoke some giggles, know that every one of us—especially voracious readers—makes a mistake once in a while. In fact, when Reddit user Zekumi posed the question “What’s a word that you pronounced incorrectly for a long time?” to the /AskReddit subreddit, it quickly became a popular post. At the time of writing, more than 208 people had commented with their own linguistic fumbles.

Here, some of the most commonly mispronounced words, their meanings (via Merriam-Webster), and, of course, their correct pronunciation.

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