1. Nuclear (Ack! If I hear one more politician or newscaster say, “nuke-you-lar” I may have to create my own WMD (Word of Mass Destruction).
2. Et cetera (Note: no “x”–therefore, the word is pronounced just as it’s spelled)
3. Mischievous (Who was the genius who first decided to pronounce it, “mis-cheeve-e-ous”? There’s no extra “i” in there! Start with the root: mischief and add the “us” sound. “Mis-chiv-us.” Is that so hard?)
4. Jewelry (Please God, no more “joolery”).
5. February (See that “r” after the “b”? It ain’t silent!)
6. Drown/Drowned (If you don’t know how to swim, you might drown. If it’s already happened to someone, he or she drowned. In the history of language, NO ONE ever “drownded”!)
7. Espresso (Just like et cetera. No “x”. Don’t add one.)
8. Forte (unless you’re a musician, the “e” is silent on this one.)
9. Nuptial (Some very intelligent people feel the need to add a “u” to this one–as in “nupt-yoo-al.” Why? I don’t know. The word works just fine without it.)
10. Lackadaisical (That pesky “x” sneaks into the darnedest pronunciations. Throw him out. We don’t need him here.)
11. Library (NO ONE over the age of three should be saying “li-berry”).
12. Valentines (I wonder how many couples argue on Valentine’s Day when one of them whips out the word, “Valentimes.” Perhaps they should skip the chocolate and roses in favor of a dictionary.)
13. Barbiturate (Just like in February and library, that poor “R” seems to be neglected at times. He’s an important letter. Learn to recognize his power.)
That’s my list. How many are you guilty of? Or do you have others that raise your hackles? I’d love to know about ’em…