For my foray into the topic of words, I thought I'd talk about words that I've pronounced incorrectly, because you can't always tell from looking at a word how it's pronounced.
The first one I remember mangling was "machine." As a precocious young reader, I found a book in the house and began reading it out loud to my mother, to show her how well I could do. She interrupted me to ask what on earth a "ma-CHYNE" (pronounced with a hard "ch" and rhyming with "line") was. When I showed her the word, she said, "Oh, ma-SHEEN!"
Then there was "anxiety." I knew the word "anxious," pronounced "ANK-shus," so naturally my new word was "ANK-shuh-tee," right? I nearly laughed when I heard a classmate pronounce it "ang-ZYE-uh-tee." There wasn't even a G or a Z in it! Where did he come up with that crazy pronunciation?
As it turned out, he got that crazy pronunciation from real life, and I was wrong.
Recently, I discovered that "unguent," which I had been mentally pronouncing as "UN-jent," is really "UN-gwent," an awkward-sounding word that still makes me shudder. I like my erroneous version better.
But hey, I still refuse to use a soft G in "gif." I will go on mentally pronouncing "gif" like "gift" without a T for as long as possible.
Today, when re-encountering the word "balustrade," I realized I don't really know how to pronounce it. Is it "BAL-you-strahd" (my first instinct, influenced by French), or "BAL-you-strayed," or something else?
Be right back.
Neither guess was quite right. My dictionary says, "BAL-uh-strayed." Now I have to retrain that little voice in my head that mentally pronounces words.
I wonder how many other words I'm saying wrong?