Mute point, indeed: How mishearing leads to misuse

Add your favorites to our list of wince-inducing mispronounced words.

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Add your favorites to our list of wince-inducing mispronounced words

Anyone who has tried to learn a second language can appreciate the continual challenge that English poses to the non-native speaker. It has more twists and turns than a small intestine, with thousands of rules and hundreds of exceptions to those rules.

As if it’s not difficult enough to master in writing, English contains a slew of words that aren’t necessarily a problem in written form; it’s when they’re spoken—by some native speakers, mind you—that they are transformed into something else altogether. And English, it ain’t.

Here are some of the most common, wince-inducing mispronunciations I’ve come across—which, speaking of, is a good place to start.

Acrossnot acrossed
You can walk across the lawn, and you may have crossed the lawn, but you cannot go acrossed the lawn—or anything else for that matter. Acrossed is not a word, so don’t use it.

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