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Words that misled in youth
Posted: 26 March 2007 04:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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In my childhood I read “impious”, assumed it was pronounced “impy-us”, and deduced it must mean “like an imp”, i.e. something like “devilish in a trivial way” or “naughtily disrespectful”. In context that made just enough sense to stop me going and looking it up in the dictionary, so I went on believing it for years till I heard somebody say it aloud.

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Posted: 26 March 2007 05:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Collecting postage stamps as a boy, I was well acquainted with the Scandinavian countries Norge (rhymed with gorge) and Sverige (rhymed with ridge). Having since moved to Sweden, I now know them more correctly as Nor-je and Sver-je. Swedes often have a little difficulty understanding my boyhood mispronunciation :).

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Posted: 26 March 2007 05:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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sorry, somehow this ended up in the wrong thread…

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Posted: 26 March 2007 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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In my childhood I read “impious”, assumed it was pronounced “impy-us”,

You were right; that’s the normal pronunciation.  The AHD and MWO give “im-PIE-us” as a secondary pronunciation, but “IMPy-us” first, and the OED only mentions the impy version.

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Posted: 26 March 2007 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Yes, that comment had me very confused!

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Posted: 26 March 2007 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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frma - 26 March 2007 05:05 AM

Collecting postage stamps as a boy, I was well acquainted with the Scandinavian countries

those words took me back a long, long way, frma.  It was the Greek stamps that puzzled me. I remember wondering why the Greeks called their country “EVVAE”, and why they wrote “V” upside down.

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Posted: 14 January 2014 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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For me, it is micropygous. I got up in a lecture and asked a question involving the word /mai’kropigəs/, much to the amusement of those present who knew the word was /’maikrəʊ’paigəs/

languagehat - 20 March 2007 09:46 AM

Dengue has ay, not way, so it’s irrelevant here.  May I suggest suede?

Perhaps there are regional variations… but I grew up in one English speaking place with plenty of dengue (Townsville, Australia) and now live in another English* speaking place with plenty of dengue (Singapore), and in both places the word is always pronounced /deŋɡiː/.

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Posted: 14 January 2014 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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I didn’t mean it always had the ay vowel but that it didn’t have a w sound.  Obviously, I didn’t express myself clearly; since that was seven years ago, I will invent the excuse that I hadn’t had much sleep.

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