54 Words Even Smart People Mispronounce
If you pronounce these words differently, don’t worry—many people do. But here’s how they were originally meant to be pronounced 50, 100, or 200 years ago—and, according to the dictionary, still should be.
How to pronounce TRANSIENT
This one depends a lot on where you’re from. In the United Kingdom, “tran-zee-ent” is common, but in the United States it’s also correct to use two syllables, as in it’s “tran-shent.”
How to pronounce STATUS
You have two choices here too. Both “stay-tus” and “stah-tus” are correct. These are company names you’ve been mispronouncing this whole time.
How to pronounce VALET
Valet is another word that has evolved over the years. It does seem to originally come from France, but evidence shows it was originally pronounced as “val-it.” Now, most Brits say “val-it” to mean the butler who helps you get dressed. In most other English-speaking countries, the “val-ay” is the person who parks your car or carries your bags to your hotel room for you. More words that can get complicated? Food names. Here are ones that you’re probably pronouncing wrong.
How to pronounce ERR
To err is human, and in the United States there are two acceptable pronunciations of “err.” It can rhyme with “hair” as in “er.” Originally it was said like “air.” In the United Kingdom, the standard pronunciation rhymes with “her.” Check out these 41 grammar rules that will make you sound smarter instantly.
How to pronounce APPLICABLE
It’s perfectly fine to put the emphasis on the first syllable, as in “app-lic-able”, but you can also say “a-plic-able.” Find out 24 more things you’ve been saying wrong this whole time.
How to pronounce DECREASE
If you’re using it as a noun, it’s de-crease. If you’re using it as a verb, it’s de-crease. Think you’re a wordsmith? Learn the 33 middle school vocabulary terms that most adults still get wrong.