Though many are happy to have the year 2016 squarely in their rearview
mirror, Babble’s director of didactics, Miriam Plieninger, has another
word-related year-end list for you to ogle.
Her list of the year’s most mispronounced words reflects some of its
biggest news stories.
It’s been making the rounds through various news media outlets and through
social media, and includes the words that reporters and PR pros struggled
with in 2016.
Bowie (/’boʊ-iː/; boh-ee)
When pop icon David Bowie died in January 2016, apparently some reporters
had a tough time pronouncing it.
Breitbart (/’breɪt-bɑːrt/; breyt-bart)
The conservative news site worked its way into headlines when
president-elect Donald Trump tapped Breitbart chief Stephen Bannon to be
his chief strategist.
Cisgender (/’sɪz-dʒɛn-dɜːr/; sizz-gen-dehr)
Gender identity issues were pushed to the forefront in 2016, and this
term—meaning that a person’s gender identity is the same as their birth
sex—tangled up some reporters.
What does it take to write authentic speeches in the age of Trump? Find
out at the 2017 Speechwriters Conference!
Hygge (/’hjuː-gə/; HUE-gah)
This Danish design approach had a moment in 2016 as people embraced cozy
Marion Cotillard (/’nɑːr-koʊs/; nark-ohs)
The Academy Award winner made headlines this year when her name was dragged
into stories about the divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Narcos (/’nɑːr-koʊs/; nark-ohs)
The Netflix show spiked in popularity, but managed to trip some tongues.
Nomophobia (/’noʊ-moʊ-‘foʊ-biː-ə/; noh-moh-pho-bee-ah)
If you fear being without your cellphone, you might suffer from nomophobia.
Quinoa (/kiː-‘noʊ-ə/ or /kiː-‘nuː-ə/; kee-NOH-ah or kee-NOO-ah)
As in, “Please never serve me a dish with quinoa in it.”
Rattata (/’ræt-æ-tæ/; RAT-ah-tah)
If you’re still unsure how to pronounce this term, ask a Pokemon
Roald Dahl (/roʊld/ /dɑːl/; rohld daal)
The beloved children’s author had his book, “The BFG,” turned into a major
motion picture in 2016.
Xenophobia (/‘zɛn-oʊ-‘foʊ-biː-ə/; zen-oh-phoh-bee-ah)
Dictionary.com named it the word of the year, but some reporters had
trouble saying it properly when talking about a fear or hatred of different
Zika (/’ziː-kə/; zee-kuh)
The disease that’s linked to birth defects spread in 2016.