The English Language

The word “niche” is pronounced NEE-SH not NI-TCH. I know that makes me sound like a snob, but there are so many things about the English language that people repeatedly and intentionally mistake. I understand if it’s due to a lack of exposure to the correct pronunciation. That is a very common issue and one I have complete sympathy for. I am not the most cultured person in the world and I’m sure I misuse and even misinterpret words all the time. The difference is that once I realize that I’ve made the mistake, I change it. Here are a few other words that are either mispronounced, misused, or are not actual words.

  • Orientate – “I have orientate myself to the idea of speaking English properly.”
    • Orientate is not a word. The correct word is orient. This one bothers me because it is used (or rather misused) in professional settings all the time. People one is supposed to respect and learn from will say orientate and I can’t stand it. I would like to add that though orientate can be found online as a real word, this is the result of it being so terribly misused for years that oxford simply gave up and conceded to the stubborn stupidity of the general population.
  • Acks – “Let me acks you a question.”
    • No you may not acks me anything. If you would like to ask me something, by all means please do, but your first question should be “How do I pronounce the work ask?”
  • Nah – “Have you seen Jimmy yet today?” “Nah
    • At what point did nah replace no. When saying nah, you are left at the end of your statement with your mouth gaping open looking like you just had major dental surgery and you can’t physically contract your jaw. No is far more decisive and is also an actual word.
  • Inneresting – “I find it very inneresting that you don’t understand what I’m trying to say.”
    • This is a simple case of having a lazy mouth. You have all of the syllables, and you’re obviously in a conversation that requires thought. All you have to do is pronounce that sharp ‘t’ sound to make your point interesting, as opposed to distracting.

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I would now like to add some fun words to your vocabulary that will impress (or alienate) your peers.

  • Jargon – special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand; “It’s important to understand the particular jargon of the business where you work.”
    • I love using this term. It’s not very common, but also recognizable enough that people know what I’m trying to convey. No matter what profession one is trying to learn, using the term jargon always makes it sound fancy.
  • Pontificate – express one’s opinions in a way considered annoyingly pompous and dogmatic; “The principal of the school will often pontificate over the loud speaker about his many accomplishments as a young student.”
    • I find that this term is incredibly useful in a few ways. First, the person who is pontificating usually is not as well read as they would like people to think, and therefore often does not know the meaning of pontificate. Second, they usually use many, if not all, of the words on my previous list, and therefore I find more pleasure in using such terms to describe them.
  • Dodecahedron – a three-dimensional shape having twelve plane faces, in particular a regular solid figure with twelve equal pentagonal faces.
    • I know that this is not a word that many people would have the fortune to come across, but I find that ,as impractical it is to use in a sentence, I love that I have it as part of my vernacular. I also love saying nonagon; a nine sided polygon; equal in both tonal and verbal quality.

Again, these are words that one should be aware of, either to avoid, or to embrace. I’m not writing this to be annoying or snobby. I am genuinely concerned about future generations who are being taught by idiots.

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