I’m guilty of some of the infractions on this list. Some are so common, it’s hard to remember the right way to handle these misused words and phrases. Great resource list and a pretty good weekend read!

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Well, I think he was stretching to get to 100 on some of them. There were a lot of pet peeves in there, but I’ve never heard someone say “stob” instead of “stub.”

    Anyway. As I was going through the list I realized that some of the common errors have become so entrenched that one might be better, in some situations, to be technically incorrect but understood and not thought to be weird. For example, he noted that the “e” in forte should be pronounced only when using it in the musical sense. However, if I were to say that crunching the numbers is my “fort,” people will understand from the context what I’m saying but there would certainly be some of those “that was odd” looks.

    What do you think?

  • stidmama

    I think a lot of the words on the list are colloquialisms — mostly restricted to certain sections of the county. I remember my friends in Virginia aksing their mothers permission to visit my home…

    Others in the list are clearly related to speech/hearing impediments, some structural, others phases in speech development that people weren’t encouraged to grow out of.

    And a few of the words/pronunciations mentioned are just a little too nit-picky. If the purpose of speech is communication, and everyone knows what the speaker means (unless one is in a teaching situation and correcting a student)… then just let it go.

    When playing crazy 8s and slapjack with my brother as a child, “card shark” was the more appropriate construction for his playing style!

  • I think forte (pronounced with 2 syllable, for-tey) is totally acceptable in today’s language. Go for it friend!

    I was most amused by “Carpool tunnel syndrome” – do people really say that??

    And in light of this blog, seems like he should have included “Duct Tape” (often confused and said “Duck Tape”).

    Have a great weekend!

  • I always spell “separately” as “seperately” because I prefer it that way, it sounds like I say it. So what, you may say? Well, I do write this word many times in one day as a piano teacher! In my pupils’ notes I often suggest the piece should be played hands seperately first. And in 15 years of teaching and mis-spelling, no one has ever commented!

    So language evolves as we speak it, or in my case, devolves as I write it! 🙂

  • I would add my name Stephen every doctor’s office I’ve sat in as child as pronounced it Stephan when it’s pronounced Steven but the spelling of Steven is a slanf of Stephen

  • Some of these mispronunciations tend to stem from laziness rather than being misinformed.. Some letters just slip the tongue when you’re speaking, are fast-talking

  • I have to say the most prolific one I hear (and read) all the time is ‘anyways’ versus ‘anyway’. Once you become aware of this, you will come across it all the time… professional broadcasters, politicians, CEOs, etc.

    It is pretty sad, actually.

  • We find ourselves using colloguiallisms and familyisms. People don’t always talk the same way. It is easier to be patient with someone who isn’t always so sure they are right. But, I do encourage patience; I will correct someone if the issue is a mis-pronounced name, or meaning is lost. Otherwise, I have bigger battles.

  • A lot of this is not mispronunciation, just dialect. People say things differently!