What we may call pronunciation errors are not always wrong. Actually, language changes follow natural patterns. So while my grade three teachers insisted we pronounce the H is when, where and why, we never did and I don’t now. But my parent’s generation generally did.
The following article explains how pronunciation changes in a variety of contexts. Among other things, it explains why we don’t pronounce certain letters and why we pronounce other letter combinations as completely different sounds. I found this very interesting.
8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today
Someone I know tells a story about a very senior academic giving a speech. Students shouldn’t worry too much, she says, if their plans “go oar-y” after graduation. Confused glances are exchanged across the hall. Slowly the penny drops: the professor has been pronouncing “awry” wrong all through her long, glittering career.
We’ve all been there. I still lapse into mis-CHEE-vous if I’m not concentrating. This week some PR whizzes working for a railway station with an unusual name unveiled the results of a survey into frequently garbled words. The station itself is routinely confused with an endocrine gland about the size of a carrot (you can see why they hired PRs). Researchers also found that 340 of the 1000 surveyed said ex-cetera instead of etcetera, while 260 ordered ex-pressos instead of espressos. Prescription came out as perscription or proscription 20% of the time.