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How to Pronounce Words in the USA

The correct way to pronounce certain words in the United States.

Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn.

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Most (not all) of the information on this page was adapted from the following book:

The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations

The Complete Opinionated Guide for the Careful Speaker

by Charles Harrington Elster

 

Buy it from Amazon.

 

Your favorite dictionary is probably wrong. Read the Big Book to find out why. If you have any arguments with this list, check out the book before complaining. You might be able to find it at your local library, but it's better to own your own copy if you can.

 

I made the list below because I have trouble remembering how to pronounce some of the words correctly and it's nice to have a fast way to look them up. The rest of the words are ones I have heard other people mangle in person, in movies, on TV, or at YouTube. It's fun to look through the list to see which words you may still mispronounce. You'll need to read the Big Book for detailed explanations for why a word should be pronounced a certain way in the USA. You might also want to read the blog post called Why All This Verbal Pickiness? by Charles Harrington Elster.

 

For those who want to know, Charles Harrington Elster said it was OK for me to have this page online. I'm just not allowed to post the key to pronunciation from his book.

 

If you like this page, you might also be interested in my page called Grammar Errors and Goofy Mistakes.

 

 

About Link Colors

Links that jump to other places on this page are blue. Links that lead to other pages online are red.

 

 

Link Directly to Words on This Page

If you'd like to share a link that jumps directly to a certain word, click on the permanent link for it, then copy the address.

 

 

 

 

Time Savers

 

 

 

 

 

Most Mispronounced
Top 25 mispronounced words I've heard in movies, on TV, or at YouTube.

 

 

 

 

Other Mispronounced Words

 

 

 

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