Today I happened upon an interesting site. Primer - the Online Men's Magazine - Lifestyle of the Millennial Man. The article that brought me to the site was one titled - 10 Words You Mispronounce That Make People Think You’re an Idiot.
I have long cringed as perfectly nice people who are otherwise smart will order an expresso. It is actually spelled e-s-p-r-e-s-s-o and it is pronunced es-presso. So here the helpful author of Primer provides some useful tips on pronunciation.
Sometimes I just give up, as when someone wants to axe me a question.
One friend from college is a self-appointed grammar policeman. I don't go out of my way, but given the opportunity I will advise friends and acquaintances. But one doesn't need to be rude. I previously worked with a woman who had some odd ideas about pronunciations. What drove me crazy was her misuse of I instead of me as in Send a copy of the bill you Sylvia and I.
There was a delightful skit on Saturday Night Live with Phil Hartman as a man who ends up leaving his wife in some soap opera style scene for using expresso and several other commonly mispronounced words. I cringed throughout the sketch but laughed heartily!
Growing up there was a friend of the family, a good ole country boy who was a businessman and went on to serve as Sheriff and later County Commissioner. He said once that he likes to use big words but is afraid he'd use them out of pretext. (That was the joke - he knows the appropriate word is context - it is a pun.) Similarly, if was oblivious to something he would say he was walking around in Bolivia. My favorite word that he would purposely mispronounce is d-e-b-r-i-s. He would pronounce it derbus. I like that pronunciation - and think that de-bree sounds way too fancy for stuff that is just, well, derbus.
My dad was another wit. He had a secretary whom he would madden by referring to CDs as Compact CD Disk Records - those round shiny things you play in your Compact CD Disk Record machines.
Ah - that's fun. But that's different from people who don't know any better and will say nuke-you-lur instead of nu-clee-ur. My personal pet peeve is folks who use an ATM machine. No - just use the ATM - the M stands for Machine!