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    « Collage Du Crap: Things it's acceptable to buy from a cut-price shop or street market, and things it's not | Main | Dos and Don'ts of writing in a guest book »
    Saturday
    Feb232013

    Failsafe method for correcting someone’s mispronunciation  

    Oh, so awkward. You’re in a conversation with someone who has just flagrantly mispronounced a word. They’re happily burbling on with the rest of the conversation, but you, no such luck. The mispronunciation lingers between you. Everything goes slow and blurry. You don’t even care what else they have to say. You just want to correct them for saying espresso as “expresso” or Coeliac as “Ko-ee-liac” or specific as “pacific” or etcetera as “ec-setera” or whatever.

    We all know that bluntly correcting someone is just not cricket. It’s rude and know-it-all and can make the person feel stupid. But there is a way to correct them without actually correcting them. All you need to do is say the word correctly, clearly, as many times as you can in the conversation. Basically bat the word back at them and keep doing it. Eg. “Oh yes I love espresso too. I think espresso might be my favourite thing…”. If it’s a foreign language word you could even get a bit theatrical for emphasis eg. accentuate the S and roll the R on “espresso”. You might sound silly and the other person might start hating you a little but you’ll actually be helping them out.

    Reader Comments (2)

    I work in a library, and I'm amazed at how many people (including co-workers) pronounce it as "li-berry." If they work and still haven't worked out the correct prounounciation, what hope do I have of setting them straight?

    February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

    Any fule kno it's a libry.

    March 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

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