A MinD in MoTown

September 22, 2009, 1:39 pm
Filed under: I am a dork, I clearly have nothing better to say

Strange little post here for you fine folks, but I’m curious about something: Are there words in the English language that you simply cannot pronounce or say?

For me, it’s “specifically” or any variation of the word “specific.”

But what about the rest of you? What is that one word that you try to utter, yet it repeatedly comes out a bit wrong?

Years ago, I had a high school teacher who couldn’t say “aluminum” – Mr. Mazzino for any of you former West Siders – and I always thought it bizarre that he could not pronounce such a simple word. Then I realized that “specific” alluded my lips, being said more similar to “pacific” somehow, and I noticed he was not alone.

And I’m betting many of you out there face the same dilemma with a word or two. So spill the beans and let me know. I’m feeling nosey today!

22 Comments so far
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“conondrum”, “interpretation”, “conscious” LOL I can say them clearly but if I speak fast ( or rap ) then I use to say them wrong. :/

Conscious seems like it might be a common one to mispronounce.

Comment by andhari

I have a hard time with “Specific” as well. (And a few others I’m sure…)

I’ve had two people who couldn’t pronounce my name at all… Granted, I don’t know/remember the Finnish pronunciation of it.. but Erin-EE or Air-Ree-Nee works. But well, Rini works too I guess. 🙂

Ha. So not E-Ree-Knee? Interesting. It is a pretty awesome name though.

Comment by Erini CS

lol…i grew up being drilled on saying words like “specific” and words that end in “sk”…I know a lot of people say “ax” instead of “ask”..it drives me nuts. there are no real words I mess up..hmmmmm…gonna pay more attention

I hate when people say “ax” instead of “ask.” Drives me bonkers!

Comment by Felicia

Oh man. People who say “ax” drive me up a wall. And I think it’s more of a southern accent thing, but people pick on me for saying “oil” (foil, toil, etc.) as more of an “awl”.

I never heard that one before. Hm. Accents definitely make a different though. Like my pronunciation of Scranton as Scran’in, or the way I say certain vowels.

Comment by Lost Artist

I have some trouble pronouncing my own last name. I mean, not in general, but sometimes. It’s because it has that same R+vowel combination as rural and juror (if you’re a 30 Rock fan). I can pronounce it, but no one ever knows what I just said.

I never heard someone having difficulty with their own name. Interesting. And I’ve never seen 30 Rock, but I can assume what you mean…I think.

Comment by Ashley

i know mine and its rural!

Similar to Ashley. I had never heard that one before, and now I’ve heard – er, read – it twice.

Comment by floreta

oh this one is easy for me.

it’s wreath.

like a christmas wreath. i pronounce it REEF. like the great barrier reef i can not say wreath correctly.

Really? Wow. That’s different, but glad to know, ha.

Comment by alexa - cleveland's a plum

Judicial… If I say it slow, no problem… but when i’m not thinking hard about it, it NEVER comes out right…
it drives me crazy

Even when I move slowly, I can’t say “specific.” But the city I’m from, Scranton, comes out just fine if I consciously think about it. If I’m just saying it off the cuff, not so much. So I get exactly what you mean!

Comment by Woolly

I have one but for the life of me I cannot remember it at the moment! I just remember trying to say the word aloud when I was speaking in one my classes last semester and I could NOT get it out.

now this is going to bother for the rest of the day.

Oh, I hate when that happens!

Comment by thatShortChick

I remembered the word! it’s idiosyncrasy.

Haha, well thanks for coming back to share! That’s not an easy word anyway, so it’s totally understandable why you might have trouble.

Comment by thatShortChick

my mom and I were talking about hard to say words last night and she came up with a good one: worcestershire sauce.


Ooooo. SO RIGHT! We have that at the steakhouse I work at, and I can NEVER say it right. EVER. Worst word in the world.

Comment by thatShortChick

Hmmm…I can’t recall any words I just couldn’t say. I do have a very very subtle lisp with my “S”s. :\

Awww. I think I have a tiny bit of that, too, because there’s an itty bitty space between my two front teeth… =/

Comment by OmegaRadium

I’m hardly perfect, but I can’t think of any words that give me difficulty. But my mom can’t say the word “lisp.” She always says “lips.” Ha!

Haha, that’s cute though.

Comment by Akirah

I can’t say peculiar. It’s so frustrating.

At least that’s not a word used very often, right?

Comment by Jenn

Yes, I really struggle with the word “ambulance” it comes out more like “amblience” I can’t help it.

I’ve actually heard that before! So you are not alone.

Comment by Jessica

Lol, I can’t think of any words I have an issue with…specifically;-) I ‘m sure there is one. I’ll let you know as soon as it come up!!

Haha, cute. And I bet everyone has one, just they don’t think of it ’til they’re needing to say it (which is what sparked this post).

Comment by Gen

Oh there’s definitely few words I can’t seem to pronounce properly. I just can’t think of what they are right now. Probably because I avoid using them!

I think that’s the easiest way to get around them. Why bother attempting to say it each and every time when there’s always a synonym nearby?

Comment by Marie

I always say “gestures” wrong. Well, actually, I don’t anymore, because I just avoid the word entirely…

Which is exactly what I do with “specifically.”

Comment by LiLu

I can’t say “edited”…or, rather, I can’t stop saying it. Too many t/d sounds at the end. I also find “sixth” very hard to say.

My boss can’t say “specific” either – it always comes out “pacific,” even when he is consciously trying to say it right. So, for what it’s worth, you’re definitely not alone!

I say it similar to “pacific” as well. Nice to know another person has the same trouble.

T/d sounds? So many words have them. That must be terribly frustrating.

Comment by h.e.g.

This is kind of weird, but I can’t say “sure”. Whenever I say it, it comes out as “shore”. I get made fun of for it, or questioned about it, all the time but I just can’t seem to say it any other way!

Maybe that has to do with an accent? I have an issue with the word “dollar” at times – coming out more like “dawler.” ::Shrugs::

Comment by Melissa

I have a hard time with the word “burger.” It usually–and disgustingly–comes out more like “booger.” Yum.

Who doesn’t want to order a booger once in a while? Ha.

Comment by Ronnica


i hate that word. for some reason i pronounce it like avayliable or something retarded like that….

PS love the blog. im new.

Haha. Well thanks for sharing and stopping by! I appreciate it hun.

Comment by ryan

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