My last post on word pronunciation sparked some requests for other commonly misspoken words. I am not perfect, but I like to think some of these mistakes don't pass my lips. An occasional mix up of who and whom is totally acceptable out of anyone, but read the following and determine whether these are equally difficult concepts that deserve a free pass.
Ask vs. Axe
Student: "Ms. Freeman. Can I axe you something?"
Me: "Um...no. You can aSk me something, but if you aXe me, I'm calling the police." Oh, and I pronounce it Po-lice. :)
Ladies and gents, an axe is a tool for chopping wood, a tool that firemen use to free humans and pets from burning structures, a tool that has no place in public forum. If you have a question, kindly aSk; otherwise, you'll go down in history right beside Lizzie Borden. There's nothing admirable about that...except maybe the cool little rhyme that'll accompany your grizzly questioning gone wrong.
Should've vs. Should of
Contractions: sneaky little boogers that get some folks all confused. Should've is the contraction for "should have," as in, "I should have been more careful when pulling that pan out of the oven." Should of sounds like a strange, medieval introduction for the strapping knight, Should of Camelot.
The same problem happens with "could" and "would," commonly part of the cute saying "Shoulda, coulda, woulda." This, of course, is a mispronunciation of "Should've, could've, would've," broken down further to "Should have, could have, would have." Be careful with your contractions: they can really make or break what you mean to convey. And don't get too happy about the apostrophes either. An apostrophe doesn't necessarily suggest possession...a lesson for another day.
Espresso vs. Expresso
Man. If I were a superhero, I'd want to be Expresso because I'd be super fast! EXpress means quickly, unlike its close cousin, ESpresso...a kind of coffee bean. Now, to be fair, ESpresso can make you EXpresso, so if you're feeling a bit sluggish, grab a shot mug and get to chuggin'!
Jewelry vs. Jewlery
The mispronunciation of this word is one of my biggest peeves. Ladies, take a look at that ring finger: what's in the setting? Oh, a jeWEL (j - oo - el), you say? You mean, it's not a jeWLE (j - oo - l)? Again, annunciation is your friend.
Regardless vs. Irregardless
Ok. This is just redundant. Either you have regard for something or someone, or you're regard-less (regardless). -Ir on the front of regardless is like a double negative, and we can't not address that, can we? :)
Alright, alright. Now that I've moaned for two consecutive posts, I'll move on to more pressing and interesting matters -- you know, like The Bachelorette or something :) All of you are surely dying to hear my opinion on the most recent rose ceremony.
Irregardless, keep calm and grammar on!