How to Pronounce Words in the USA

The correct way to pronounce certain words in the United States.

Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn.

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Page Table of Contents

Most (not all) of the information on this page was adapted from the following book:

The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations

The Complete Opinionated Guide for the Careful Speaker

by Charles Harrington Elster


Buy it from #ad Amazon.


Your favorite dictionary is probably wrong. Read the #ad Big Book to find out why. If you have any arguments with this list, check out the book before complaining. You might be able to find it at your local library, but it's better to own your own copy if you can.


I made the list below because I have trouble remembering how to pronounce some of the words correctly and it's nice to have a fast way to look them up. The rest of the words are ones I have heard other people mangle in person, in movies, on TV, or at YouTube. It's fun to look through the list to see which words you may still mispronounce. You'll need to read the #ad Big Book for detailed explanations for why a word should be pronounced a certain way in the USA. You might also want to read the blog post called Why All This Verbal Pickiness? by Charles Harrington Elster.


For those who want to know, Charles Harrington Elster said it was OK for me to have this page online. I'm just not allowed to post the key to pronunciation from his book.


If you like this page, you might also be interested in my page called Grammar Errors and Goofy Mistakes.



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Time Savers






Most Mispronounced
Top 25 mispronounced words I've heard in movies, on TV, or at YouTube.





Other Mispronounced Words





In Case You Didn’t Know

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Negative ions are good for us. You might want to avoid positive ion generators and ozone generators. Whenever I need a new air cleaner (with negative ion generator), I buy it from A plain old air cleaner is better than nothing, but one that produces negative ions makes the air in a room fresher and easier for me to breathe. It also helps to brighten my mood.


Never litter. Toss it in the trash or take it home. Do not throw it on the ground.


Hydrofracking is bad for you, your family, your friends, and the environment.


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