Are there any English words pronounced with sounds/syllables that aren’t part of the spelling?

There are many English words with silent letters, words like gnome or island that are spelt with consonants that aren’t pronounced, but are there any words that work the other way round, with a pronunciation that includes extra sounds or syllables that are not in the spelling? I can’t think of any real examples, hence … Read more

The spelling “ui” and the pronunciation /uː/ in juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, nuisance, recruit, bruit

The words juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, sluice, suit, pursuit, suitcase, lawsuit, nuisance, recruit, bruit are spelled with ui and pronounced with the IPA phoneme /uː/. Full pronunciations from OED: nuisance: Brit. /ˈnjuːsns/, U.S. /ˈn(j)us(ə)ns/ juice:         Brit. /dʒuːs/, U.S. /dʒus/ cruise:      Brit. /kruːz/, U.S. /kruz/ bruise:      Brit. /bruːz/, U.S. /bruz/ suit:           Brit. /s(j)uːt/, U.S. /sut/ recruit: … Read more

I pronounce question as kweshtin. Is my pronunciation wrong?

I’ve lived in Houston,TX for about 10 years and after that I moved to the ME and I’ve made friends since then. Whenever they heard me say kweshtin they told me my pronunciation was weird. I told them that it’s the American pronunciation, but when I googled it I found nothing to back me up. … Read more

Interested in ‘naive’ pronunciation

I’d like to know why ‘naive’ is pronounced ny-eve but is spelt naive. Where is the ny part coming from? ‘na-‘ isn’t pronounced ny, and if the ny part is nai-, then there is only -ve left. This is about pronunciation Answer French naïf/naïve does not have a falling diphthong, so its pronunciation wouldn’t explain … Read more

When is E at the start of the word pronounced as /iː/ ? (as in ‘Ego’)

Words beginning with e usually be pronounced as /e/ or /ɪ /, for example: egg /eg/ effort /’efət/ explicit /ɪ k’splɪ sɪ t/ Very rarely, words are pronounced with /iː/, for example: epoch /’i:pɔk/ ego /’i:ɡəu/ My question is in which situation, the word begin with e will be pronounced as /iː/? Answer There’s no … Read more

How is “victualling” pronounced?

Victuals is famously pronounced “vittles”. But how is victualling, as in victualling yard, pronounced? I presume the “c” remains silent, but various unsourced and presumably autogenerated pronunciation videos suggest both “vittling” and “vittualing“. Answer /ˈvɪtlɪŋ/, i.e. the normal pronunciation of victual + -ing. Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary, 18th ed.: The Routledge Dictionary of Pronunciation for … Read more

Why is the word ‘heroine’ not pronounced like ‘hero-ine?’

Why is the word ‘heroine’ not pronounced like ‘hero-ine’ but instead like ‘heroin?’ It has the word ‘hero’ in it and it’s the female equivalent of a hero. It’s not like I use the word in public often but it feels weird when I do because I have to pronounce it like ‘heroin.’ Is there … Read more

How is paciic pronounced?

This video covers how an airline with the word pacific in its name accidentally wrote paciic on their airplane. While very amusing, the lady in the video pronounces the mistaken ‘pasiic’ like Pacific, just without the f, like ‘pacic’, if you will. Is that indeed the write way to say it, or does its pronunciation … Read more

Spelling of temperature and preparation

Today, I have come up with the two confusingly-spelled words: temperature and preparation. The ‘para’ in preparation, and the ‘pera’ in temperation, look quite similar in pronunciation when we read those two words out loud. Hence, new language learners might get confused whether to spell temperature as temparature or temprature. Also, they might get confused … Read more

Why doesn’t English spelling vary with region that much?

Even though English spelling is so irregular, native speakers still share a common writing system with little regional difference. When you refer to the moving organ in your mouth, you may pronounce it differently, but all native speakers write T_O_N_G_U_E, in such obviously “wrong” spelling. Why? Why didn’t different regions develop different writing systems, since … Read more