Have you ever heard the expression that a person has “a good ear?” Now everyone would like to have a good ear, most likely two good ears. But as I understand it, the expression doesn’t have anything to do with having nice or attractive ears.
There have been numerous times when I have heard a word mispronounced and I thought the person speaking didn’t have such “a good ear.” I know I have done it myself. I try not to mispronounce words and if I learn a new word, I make sure that I know exactly how it should be pronounced.
When my children were little and mispronounced a word, I always corrected them. I wanted them to develop “a good ear.” (And as their mother, I hope they can still say, “Mom always has my best interests at heart.”)
Here is an example of a mispronunciation and I will begin with myself: I used to think that the word “opportunity” was pronounced “opPROtunity.”
I was talking with someone and said “opPROtunity” and they (I don’t remember who it was, but it was someone with my best interests at heart, like my mother) said, “How did you pronounce that word?” I said, “opPROtunity.” They said, “It’s pronounced opPORtunity.”
I said, “Oh. Are you sure? How did I miss that all these years?”
Here are more examples, beginning with 2) since mine was 1).
2) My son and I were in the que at the movie theater waiting to get our tickets for a movie and a couple was directly behind us, discussing which movie they should see. After a bit of conversation, the woman said, “Let’s just see The Bourne Supremany.”
3) I was listening to a local talk radio show and they were discussing insulation. A woman called in and said that styrophone worked well.
4) Same radio show. Different day. Winter respiratory problems were being discussed and someone called in asking a question about bronical pneumonia.
5) Saved the best for last. I was at Hobby Lobby in one of the scrapbooking aisles and two other women were standing near me. Scrapbooking embellishments are the little brads, clips, and other typically three dimensional do-dads that we use on our photo lay-out pages. One woman said to the other, “Let’s go look at the embezzelments.”
So if I am talking to a family member or a close friend and I mispronounce a word, please feel free, feel freer than free, to correct me with a sweet smile on your face and I will know that you have my best interests at heart.
Blessings to you and yours, Cookie