Can you (actually, honestly) spell ‘Phenomenon’? See the list of the Top Most Mispronounced Words

by Rachel Ogbu

The British Institute Of Verbatim Reporters (BIVR) released a list of the most commonly mispronounced English words which included phenomenon, remuneration and statistics.

The body charged with recording public utterances is the UK’s leading organisation for professionals involved in taking down speech at court and tribunal hearings conducted a poll and found 10 words that English speakers consistently find the most challenging to pronounce.

Completing the list are conjugal, specific, processes and development.

On another hand, CollinsDictionary.com, a dictionary publisher named ”Gangnam Style”, ”fiscal cliff” and ”mummy porn” among its words of the year for 2012.

University of York sociolinguistics expert Professor Paul Kerswill said the English language has evolved to compensate for tricky pronunciations but some words remain a challenge.

He said: ”People always find a way of simplifying words that they find difficult to get their tongues round, so that an everyday word like ‘handbag’ sounds like ‘hambag’.

”Our forebears simplified ‘waistcoat’ to ‘weskit’ – but we’ve turned our backs on that.

”We certainly don’t pronounce Worcester and Gloucester the way they are spelt any more. And ‘York’ used to have three syllables, not one.

”And most people talk about ‘Febry’ and ‘Wensday’.”


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