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Australia's surprising most mispronounced words

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 6 days ago Alice Murphy For Daily Mail Australia
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An Australian writer has revealed the country's most mispronounced words - and his scathing opinion of why they are said incorrectly.

In an interview with Sky News, renowned wordsmith Kel Richards said he received a 'tsunami' of emails from viewers complaining about the mispronunciation of fifth, normality, and remuneration, the term for money paid for work or a service.

The 75-year-old said dozens more wondered why often, burglar and the phrase 'pleaded guilty' are so widely misspoken.

After claiming that mispronunciation is caused by a 'lazy mind and lazy mouth', Mr Richards expressed disbelief about the confusion surrounding 'remuneration'.

'I still don't understand how people can make that mistake, if they're the least bit educated, because they can't write the word like that,' he said.

Australia's most commonly mispronounced words

Correct: Remuneration

Incorrect: Renumeration

Correct: Fifth

Incorrect: Fith

Correct: Normality

Incorrect: Normalcy

Correct: Pleaded guilty

Incorrect: Plead guilty

Correct: Burglar

Incorrect: Burg-u-lar

Correct: Often

Incorrect: Off-ten

Later in the segment, Mr Richards dismissed the mispronunciation of the word fifth -  which Australians often say as 'fith' - as nothing but laziness.

'They leave out the 'f' in the middle...these things are caused by a lazy mouth or a lazy mind, and this is a lazy mouth - it's someone not bothering to bring their bottom lip up to their teeth,' he said.

Video: Australia’s 'most mispronounced' words (Sky News Australia)


He offered similar criticism for those who pronounce often as 'off-ten', with a hard 't'.

Mr Richards said anyone who says 'normalcy' instead of 'normality' using an Americanised version of the word, while people who say 'plead guilty' instead of the correct past participle 'pleaded' are using a colloquialism from Scotland.

The clarifications, which have racked up almost 4,000 views since they were uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, sparked passionate responses. 

'OFF-TEN is a pet peeve of mine, spoken on the US east coast. The T is silent,' one man wrote.

Mr Richards said some of Australia's most commonly pronounced words include burglar

Mr Richards said some of Australia's most commonly pronounced words include burglar
© Provided by Daily Mail

Others vented their frustration about additional mispronunciations.

'The most cringeworthy Aussie pronunciation is saying data as 'darter' instead of 'day ter',' one man wrote.

'How about 'should have' instead of the incorrect 'should of',' said a second.

A third added: 'Prahran (the area). I am always hearing people who cannot pronounce Prahran trying to help others pronounce it. Only deep routed old Melbourne folk get it right,' 

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