say what?!

yellow green and pink plastic toy
Photo by Alina Blumberg on

Those words that start with g’s

Or k’s and yet they sound like n,

Like gnome and knife and many other words

We’ve come to know and loathe.

It would be nice if we could spell

Those bloody words the way they sound.

As I was driving home from school tonight, the host on Radio 2 was talking about words that we have pronounced incorrectly because they are spelled in the most ridiculous way. I have been a bit sad this past week, but listening to some of the stories from people who wrote in made me proper belly laugh.

The was a young girl who worked in a bar and thought that the Schweppes tonic water was called Shush-weppy.

I once heard a girl at work call the place where the old paperwork is kept the are-chives (a little bit like the salad onion).

Another one from my own life was the lady at the sandwich bar I went to thinking that jalapenos was pronounced ja-loppa-noss.

I hear people stumbling over tricky words every day and I sometimes have to bite down onto my lip to stop myself from laughing. However, I do think that it shows just how playful we can be with our language and I think that is something that should be celebrated.

Much Love

Rachel xx

6 thoughts on “say what?!

  1. ViiVee

    This made me laugh out loud and think of all of the mispronounced words I’ve come across; cache sounding like it has an accent on the e, as cashay

  2. Margot Kinberg

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had some bad news, Rachel, but it’s good that you got a laugh from the radio show. It’s strange, isn’t it, how a lot of our words are like that. Sometimes our language is all gnarled up, isn’t it? And it makes me think of other oddities of language. For instance, why are people never gruntled? or kempt? Just wondering…

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