9 words to argue about with your friends
When it comes to pronunciation, there’s always something to argue about. And we’ve all done it –whether standing in line at Starbucks arguing about espresso or throwing down about whether or not to enunciate the ‘r’ in the second month of the year.
So here’s more grist for the argument mill.
If you’re a musical person, this one has come up. ‘Tom’, ‘tam’, or ‘tim’? Many make the mistake of pronouncing it ‘timber’, as in fallen wood. However, the choice between ‘tom’ and ‘tam’ is one you should feel free to keep discussing…
We’ve all heard someone go for ‘bing’ instead of ‘binj’, haven’t we? The correct pronunciation of this word is ‘HAR-bin-juhr’.
Although the hard ‘k’ is the accepted pronunciation for this word, the pronunciation beginning with a ‘ch’ as in church is heard often enough.
Spanish literature enthusiasts know that this adjective refers to the hero of the classic Spanish novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. And Spanish speakers know that ‘qui’ is pronounced as ‘key’ and ‘x’ with the sound in Scottish ‘loch’. However, the adjective describing the Don has been anglicized to ‘kwik-SOT-ik’. Most English speakers use the anglicized pronunciation for the adjective, and something more Spanish-sounding for the novel. To win bonus pedant points and clinch the argument, the Massenet opera Don Quichotte is ‘kee-SHOT’.
Some foodies may be alarmed to learn that a widely accepted pronunciation of this word ends with ‘tin’ rather than ‘tayn’, as in ‘rain’. Argue away!
‘Hom’ or ‘om’? As long as you say it ending with an ‘ij’ and not ‘aazh’, then it’s really a matter of preference. (Though feel free to dive in the ‘hyooman’ vs. ‘yooman’ question!)
There are a few ways that people pronounce this word – the only consistency seeming to be an emphasis on the second syllable. The main issue is typically how to pronounce the second syllable: like ‘shoe’, ‘chew’, or ‘skew’? OxfordDictionaries.com lists ‘chew’ as the appropriate pronunciation, although there is evidence that many feel otherwise. See Stan Carey’s blog Sentence First for more discussion on eschew.
The accepted pronunciation of detritus highlights the second syllable as ‘try’. However, another pronunciation – likely influenced by the pronunciation of detriment – is sometimes heard in which the first syllable is stressed: ‘DET-trit-uhss’.
Is ‘compare’ in comparable? Not as most English speakers pronounce it. The stress instead falls on the first syllable: KOMP-(uh-)ruh-buhl.