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1. aegis The ae in this word is pronounced /ee/. Say EE-JIS/, not /ay-jis/.

/ids/
aegis \-js also -\
2. archipelago The ch is pronounced with a /k/ sound. Say /AR-KI-PEL-A-GO/, not /arch-ipel-a-go/.
kpel/
archipelago \r-k-pe-l-g, r-ch-\
3. arctic Note the C after the R. Say /ARK-TIK/, not /ar-tik/.
/ktk/
archipelago \r-k-pe-l-g, r-ch-\
4. accessory the first C has a hard sound. Say /AK-SESS-OR-Y/, not /ass-ess-or-y/.
/ksesri/
archipelago \r-k-pe-l-g, r-ch-\
5. cache Say /KASH/, not /ka-shay/.
/k/
\kash\
6. ask The S comes before the K. Say /ASK/ not /aks/.
/sk/
\ask, sk; dial aks\
7. asterisk Notice the second S. Say /AS-TER-ISK/, not /as-ter-ik/.
/strsk/
asterisk \as-t-risk, especially in plural also -rik\
8. athlete The word has two syllables, not three. Say /ATH-LETE/, not /ath-uh-lete/.
/lit/
athlete \ath-lt, a-th-lt\
9. dilate The word has two syllables, not three. Say /DI-LATE/, not /di-a-late/.
/dalet/
dilate \d-lt, d-\
10. drowned Say /DROWND/, not /drown-ded/.
/dran/
\drauu n\
11. candidate Notice the first d. Say /KAN-DI-DATE/, not /kan-i-date/.
/knddt/
candidate \kan-d-dt, ka-n-, -dt\
12. cavalry . Say /KAV-UL-RY/, not /kal-vuh-ry/.
/kvlri/

cavalry \ka-vl-r, kal-v-r\


13. chaos Say /KAY-OS/, not /tchay-os/.
/kes/
chaos \k-s\
14. et cetera Say /ET CET-ER-A/, not /ex cet-er-a/. For the abbreviation, write ETC., not
ect.
/et setr/
et cetera \et-se-t-r, -se-tr also it-, ek-, ik-\
15. Halloween say /HAL-O-WEEN/, not /hol-lo-ween/.
/hlin/
Halloween \ha-l-wn, h-\
16. February The spelling calls for /FEB-ROO-AR-Y/, not /feb-u-ar-y/.
/februri/
February \fe-b(y)-wer-, fe-br-\
17. foliage The word has three syllables. Say /FO-LI-UJ/, not /fol-uj/.
/flid/
foliage \f-l-ij also -lyij; f-lij, foi-lij\
18. hierarchy The word has four syllables. Say /HI -ER-AR-KY,/ not /hi-ar-ky/.
/harki/
hierarchy \h-(-)rr-k also hi(-)r-r-\
19. niche Say /NEESH/, not /nitch/.
/ni/
\nich also nsh or nish\
20. jewelry Say /JEW-EL-RY/, not /jew-el-er-y/. The pronunciation /jewl-ry/ is common but
not correct.
/dulri/
jewelry \j-l-r, jl-r, juu l-; j-l-r\
21. picture Say /PIK-TURE/, not /pitch-er/.
/pkt(r)/
picture \pik-chr\
22. vehicle Say /VEE-IKL/, not /vee-Hikl/.
/vikl/
vehicle \v--kl also v-hi-kl\

9. barbed wire- Notice the AR in the first syllable. Say /BARBD/, not /bob/.
14. clothes Notice the TH spelling and sound. Say /KLOTHZ/, not /kloz/.
21. forte The Italian word, a musical term meaning loud, is pronounced with two syllables:
/FOR-TAY/. /FORT/.
23. height The word ends in a /T/ sound, not a /TH/ sound. Say /HITE/, not /hith/.
24. heinous People unfamiliar with the TV show Law and Order: S.V.U. may not know that
heinous has two syllables. (The show begins with this sentence: In the criminal justice
system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.) Say /HAY-NUS/, not
/heen-i-us/.

26. Illinois As with Arkansas, the final s in Illinois is not pronounced. Say /IL-I-NOY/
(and /Ar-kan-saw/, not /il-li-noiz/ or /ar-kan-sas/). NOTE: Some unknowledgeable folks may
still be trying to pronounce Arkansas as if it had something to do with Kansas. The
pronunciation /ar-kan-zuz/ is waaay off base.
27. interpret The word has three syllables. Dont add one! Say /IN-TER-PRET/, not /in-terpre-tate/.
28. incident Something that happens is an incident. Dont say incidence when you mean
a specific event. There IS a word incidence, but it has a different meaning.
29. irregardless See the real word, regardless.
30. jewelry Say /JEW-EL-RY/, not /jew-el-er-y/. The pronunciation /jewl-ry/ is common but
not correct.
31. library Notice where the R comes in the word. Say /LI-BRAR-Y/, not /li-ber-ry/.
32. medieval The word has four syllables. The first E may be pronounced either short
[med] or long [meed]. Say /MED-EE-EEVAL/ or /MEE-DEE-EEVAL/, not /meed-eval/.
33. miniature The word has four syllables. Say /MIN-I-A-TURE/, not /min-a-ture/.
34. Mischievous Mischievous has three syllables with the accent on the first syllable:
/MIS-CHI-VUS/. Dont say /mis-chee-vee-us/.

36. orient This word has three syllables. As a verb it means to place something in its proper
position in relation to something else. It comes from a word meaning east and originally
meant positioning something in relation to the east. Now it is used with a more general
meaning. Say /OR-I-ENT/, not /or-i-en-tate/.

37. old-fashioned This adjective is formed from a past-participle: fashioned. Dont leave
off the ED. Say /OLD-FASHIOND/, not /old-fashion/.

39. precipitation This is a noun that refers to rain or snow, or anything else that normally
falls from the sky. As with prescription (below), the prefix is PRE-. Say /PRE-CIP-I-TA-TION/,
not /per-cipi-ta-tion/.
40. prescription Note the prefix PRE- in this word. Say /PRE-SCRIP-TION/, not /per- scription/ or /pro-scrip-tion/.
41. preventive The word has three syllables. A common fault is to add a syllable. Say PREVEN-TIVE/, not /pre-ven-ta-tive.
42. pronunciation This word is a noun. It comes from the verb pronounce, BUT it is not
pronounced like the verb. Say /PRO-NUN-CI-A-TION/, not /pro-nounce-i-a-tion/.
43. prostate

This

word

for

male

gland

is

often

mispronounced.

There

is

an

adjective prostrate which means to be stretched out facedown on the ground. When speaking
of the gland, however, say /PROS-TATE/, not /pros-trate/.
44. Realtor The word has three syllables. Say /RE-AL-TOR/, not /re-a-la-tor/.
45. regardless The word has three syllables. Please dont add an IR to make it into the
abomination irregardless.
46. sherbet The word has only one r in it. Say /SHER-BET/ not /sher-bert/.
47. spayed This is a one-syllable word, the past participle form of the verbto spay, meaning
to remove the ovaries from an animal. Like the verb drown(above) the verb spay does not
have a D in its infinitive form. Dont add one to the past participle. Say /SPADE/, not /spayded/.
48. ticklish The word has two syllables. Say /TIK-LISH/, not /tik-i-lish/.
49. tract Religious evangelists often hand out long printed statements of belief called
tracts. Thats one kind of tract. Houses are built on tracts. Then theres the word track.
Athletes run on tracks. Animals leave tracks. Dont say /TRAKT/ when you mean /TRAK/,
and vice-versa.
50. vehicle Say /VEE-IKL/, not /vee-Hikl/.
51. wintry Heres another weather word often mispronounced, even by the weather person.
The word has two syllables. Say /WIN-TRY/, not /win-ter-y/.