Which Words Do You Botch?


We recently heard from listeners after our mispronunciation of the word "synecdoche," meaning "a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or a whole for the part," according to

And we asked for your most embarrassing pronunciation errors. There was no shortage of answers:

Joan in Philadelphia writes: "As a child I read 'clandestine' as 'CANdle-STEEN' and didn't have it corrected until I was in my 20's."

A listener named Barbie writes:

 Once I said for the golf ball trademark, "Titleist" the following: Tit List (long i as in heist.)

And listener Allison reminds us that English teachers aren't always pronunciation authorities:

"I taught high school English for eight years.  My first year teaching, I was reading a passage from the bookTo Kill A Mockingbird  aloud to the class and pronounced the word "assuage" as "uh sue uhge."  A 9th grade girl in the back of the classroom and said, "Ms. Allison, I think that word is pronounced 'assuage'."    I was able to laugh and say, "Oh, really? I suppose you're right. I've only ever read that word before. I've never heard it pronounced."  Of course, I looked it up later, and sure enough she was right.   Sometimes, English teachers are wrong too. :) "

Josh writes:

Everyone's favorite: For all intents and purposes - most people say "all intensive purposes", but I said "all intensum purposes" like it was a latin word. We all agree on the definition, though.

What words or phrases do you mispronounce? Tell us in the comments section.

This program aired on August 1, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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