review: You’re Saying It Wrong

You're Saying It Wrong

You’re Saying it Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse by Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras

This book provides a list of commonly mispronounced words with phonetic (but using the ‘normal’ alphabet – no schwas or other symbols used by academics and dictionaries) pronunciations, definitions, and a paragraph or two on the history of the word and in some cases an anecdote about ways to mispronounce it. The authors note at the start that they go with the correct or most commonly used pronunciation, regardless (note: see their entry on irregardless!) of how many other accepted or colloquial pronunciations there might be (a few entries have more than one pronunciation listed, but most stick to one). The entries include commonly used words (spurious, sherbet), historical words that come up sometimes (wassail), famous people (Wagner, van Gogh), phrases (would have [not would of!]), and others. Throughout the book, one-page lists highlight the pronunciations of words that fit into a particular area of interest: fashion, philosophy, gourmet food, and such. A fun book to look through for folks who like words and pedants who like to be right!

full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books