Tag: pronunciation

English words of French origins, and how to pronounce them correctly

English words of French origin and how to pronounce them

On 14 July 1789, the storming of the Bastille prison in the centre of Paris marked the beginning of the French Revolution. It was a major watershed in the history of Europe and is today still celebrated as a public holiday in France. The event gave the country a national motto as well: liberté, égalité, […]

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American vs British pronunciation: zebra

American vs British pronunciation: 7 words to watch out for

Americans and Brits. There are some things that we have different words for (zucchini vs courgette, stroller vs pram), and some words we use for different things (always make sure you’ve agreed on a common meaning of pants before you broach the topic). Some words we spell differently – the pesky ‘u’ to remember to […]

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Does the BBC dictate proper pronunciation?

BBC English: does it dictate proper pronunciation?

Language use and notions of correctness have always been central matters for large sections of British society – especially those concerned with class, status, and education. Throughout its history, the BBC played a central role in disseminating what is considered ‘proper’ pronunciation. In its early days, the BBC was even meant to not only entertain […]

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swallows arguing

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. 1. timbre If you’re […]

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Use these medical pronunciations to avoid being embarrassed at the doctor's office

Avoid embarrassment at the doctor’s office

There’s really nothing worse than pronouncing an obvious word incorrectly – especially when you do it in front of someone who’s an authority on the word. The doctor’s office is one of many places where we find ourselves in this sort of situation. Let’s have a quick look at some words that may cause an […]

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Why English is hard: words ending in ‘-ough’

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Shakespeare's Globe

How Shakespeare spoke: Original Pronunciation, rhymes, and puns

We’re all familiar with at least some Shakespeare, but the chances are that we’ve only either read his words on the page, or heard them spoken with modern pronunciation. This, however, does not entirely match how Shakespeare and the original casts of his plays would have spoken. Even modern British English is not the same as what […]

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Make sure you get your politics words pronunciations correct!

Avoid sounding foolish when talking politics

Have a political opinion you want to voice? Do you want to take a stand on an issue? Don’t discredit yourself by pronouncing a word incorrectly. Even if you have seen a word a million times in newsprint, it may not mean you have the pronunciation down pat. Before you charge ahead into a political […]

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