10 words Americans often mispronounce, according to a new study

(NEXSTAR) – It’s not just you; almost no one knows how to pronounce “acai”.

That’s the highlight of a recent study by Unscrambled Words, which sought to identify words, terms, or names that Americans often struggle to pronounce.

Of course, it wasn’t just acai. Analysts at Unscrambled Words, an online resource for players of word games like Scrabble or Words With Friends, have found nine more tongue-twisting terms that Americans don’t seem to know how to use, based on average monthly Google searches. to say looking for “How to pronounce [X].

“This data may indicate that some people may have been mispronouncing words for years without realizing it,” said a spokesperson for Unscrambled Words in a press release. “But it also shows that there’s no shame in wanting to know the correct pronunciation, because thousands of people from the US also want to know that every month.”

In addition to “acai” (a type of palm that bears the berry of the same name and is pronounced “ah-sah-EE” or “ah-sye-EE” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary), Google searched for many other food-related pronunciations , such as gyro, charcuterie and pho, among others.

Quick, how do you say GIF? (Getty Images)

Others on the list include: Omicron, the name of the currently prevalent variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus; “Nguyen”, a common Vietnamese surname; and “GIF,” a word for a specific video file format whose pronunciation is still debated by linguists and software engineers.

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Below is the full list of the top ten, along with the average number of monthly Google searches for these pronunciations, according to Unscrambled Words. Each term is also linked to a Merriam-Webster pronunciation unless otherwise noted.

  1. Acai – 20,400 searches per month
  2. Gyroscope – 17,660 searches per month
  3. Omicron – 15,530 searches per month
  4. Material – 15,140 searches per month
  5. Nguyen (pronunciation via Heritage-Line) – 14,990 searches per month
  6. Gnocchi – 11,350 searches per month
  7. GIF – 11,230 searches per month
  8. Worcestershire – 8,880 searches per month
  9. Dogecoin (pronunciation via Benzinga) – 7,540 searches per month
  10. Pho – 7,270 searches per month
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Meanwhile, the folks at Merriam-Webster would like to remind us that we’re foolish to think there are only 10 words we usually mispronounce. in 2022 June and October in the volume, the editors published their own lists of mispronounced words in the English language, including words like “victuals,” “awry,” “epitome,” and, yes, “acai.” .

“These famous berries are harvested in Brazil, but they often appear on English-speaking menus and recipes,” writes an editor at Merriam-Webster about the often mispronounced word. “Even if you’re not adding it to your morning smoothie, you might want to make sure you’re saying acai correctly.”


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