But I thought it was . . .

18/10/2008

The mispronunciation of anemone as an enemy several times in a TV programme has inspired John Ansell to compile a list of the most mispronounced words in the English language.

 

I entered the conversation with a little hesitancy because there are a few words I mispronounced for years.

 

I was well into adulthood before I discovered halcyon was not haleycon (which I’d somehow associated with Haley Mills starring in a movie as a woman called Summer).

 

It was only while doing a radio book review that I realised it was badinage and not as I’d always read it bandiage (because I associated it with bandying words).

 

I could perhaps blame those two on the fact I’d seen them written but hadn’t heard them spoken. But that doesn’t explain why I thought the prayer my brothers & I recited every night was asking God to pity mice implicitly and not pity my simplicity.

 

Nor does it explain why I thought Puff the Magic dragon had a friend called Frolicin the Ottumis until someone pointed out to me that Peter, Paul and Mary had been singing frolicked in the autumn mists . . .  


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