THIS list of words gone wrong is “probly” the most annoying thing you are going to read today, but here it is, “specially” for you…with a reminder of some of the most famous mispronunciations of recent times.
Sorry, it’s just that a new survey has compiled a top ten list of the most irritatingly mispronounced words and people saying “probly” rather than “probably” is right up there in the top three.
What’s in the top spot?
The mispronunciation of “specifically” as “pacifically” was found to be the most annoying of all, with 35 per cent of those spoken to saying it irritated them immensely. Probably was in second place at 28% and “expresso” rather than “espresso” was in third place, with 26% saying the mangled version irked them.
Especially for you?
Of the 2,000 participants surveyed by London-based insights agency, Perspectus Global, 25% said people saying “specially” when they mean “especially” is deeply annoying.
Other words in the top 10…?
The mangling of “Arctic” to “Artick”, “nuclear” to “nucular” and “tenterhooks” to “tenderhooks” all get a mention, as does “et cetera” being altered to “excetera”, “accessory” to “assessory” and “triathlon” to “triathalon”.
Even although 35% of people spoken to admitted correcting friends and family when they say the wrong thing, we are not so keen to correct others. Perspectus Global creative director Ellie Glason, said: “It seems Brits are a nit-picking bunch when it comes to how others say things. However, interestingly, the research shows that, in true British style, 65% are more likely to mutter under their breath than call someone out on it”.
It can happen to any one of us?
At a rally in Montana in 2019, Donald Trump couldn’t get to grips with “anonymous” and changed it to “anomonous”, while Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch struggles to say “penguins”. In an issue highlighted during a 2014 Graham Norton interview, a documentary narrated by the actor was played back to much laughter as it revealed him repeatedly saying “pengwings”.
Ah yes, a clip from culinary queen Nigella Lawson’s show, “Cook, Eat, Repeat” went viral online last year when she mispronounced “microwave” as “mee-cro-wav-aay”. One viewer tweeted: “2020 has thrown a lot of curveballs at us but I was truly not expecting the way Nigella Lawson says microwave to be one of them.” When asked for a comment, her team explained: “In a nutshell, it’s how Nigella refers to the microwave at home.”
The Queen knows the score…
The decision by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to name their daughter, Lilibet, sparked headlines earlier this month. Lilibet was a nickname given to the Queen as a child when she was unable to pronounce her own full name, Elizabeth. It is now likely many children will be called Lilibet, following the trend set by the Sussexes, with experts predicting it will be in the top 10 of girls’ names next year, showing just what can happen to a mispronunciation over time.