Monday, October 24, 2011

100 Words Almost Everyone Mispronounces from the Editors of American Heritage Dictionaries

How do you say mischievous? Or epoch? Or chaise lounge, for that matter (lovely to sit on, excruciating to pronounce)? And, perhaps more importantly, how are we supposed to say them? As someone who learned most of the “ten dollar” words she knows from reading them, I have a long and embarrassing history of very public mispronunciations. I am happy to say those days have come to an end, thanks to this slim volume of phonetically confounding words. Each entry gives the accepted pronunciations as well as a history of the word’s usage and the explanation for the popular mispronunciations we all hear and use. Not only is this a helpful guide to pronunciation, it is a fascinating and accessible bit of etymology - so much so I actually read it cover to cover! --Regan Schwartz

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