Mispronouncing while speaking a common word?

Posted by: Pru

Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/20/13 03:22 PM

In the past year or so DD9 has once or twice a day significantly mispronounced a common word while speaking. It really catches our attention because she's doing exactly the way a child would if they were reading a new word phonetically for the first time, but these are commonly spoken words she knows and hears all the time.

The other day it was "purr-case" for purchase. She always corrects herself immediately, sometimes interjecting with "or however you say that word." She is clearly a bit flustered.

She doesn't have any other speech anomalies except when she tells a story it meanders, backtracks, lacks pronoun definitions and often requires us to steer her back to the point. My wife says DD9 learned that speaking technique from her 3rd grade girl friends.

I wanted to ask here because I know nothing of the various issues that affect speech. DD9 has never been evaluated beyond an IQ test.
Posted by: bronalex

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/20/13 06:28 PM

If it's just one or two words she has trouble with, my first guess is that she never quite figured out how to pronounce the word while reading it, although she knows what it means. My 7 year old DS does the same thing, in fact I think he also had trouble with "purchase". It was almost like he had read the word to himself but never said it out loud before so he sounded it out.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/20/13 07:45 PM

OH boy, you should have heard my eight-year-old self with hor d'oeuvres Heeheehee...

My DD still does this with just a handful of words. Yes, they are things that she learned through silent reading and context--

and honestly, I still have occasions where I'll have this total epiphany DURING a conversation or listening to someone... WOW... that is SO different than that word sounds in my head...

Palliative is a great example of that. Even knowing how it sounds, I can't make it stick because of how I laid it down in my memory, if that makes sense.
Posted by: Nautigal

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/20/13 08:25 PM

Even if it's a word that she "hears all the time", it may be that she's never made the connection between the word she's read and the way people say it.

We have this discussion often at work -- a word comes along that someone has read a lot of times but never heard pronounced, and it turns out to be significantly different from what is in their head.

I had that problem as a child with a few words, and they still annoy me because I felt stupid not knowing how to pronounce them. Little Lord Fauntleroy, for example, was "fon-tul-roy" in my head, not "font-luh-roy", and worse, my mother thought it was funny. I never did go back to the stupid book. smile And I just found out a couple weeks ago, watching the Moomintroll movie on TV (who knew there was a movie of that, anyway?), that I had "ululating" entirely wrong. There's another word that escapes me at the moment, though I usually remember it with disgust, that people laughed at when I said it wrong, and it sticks with you.

It just comes from reading more than you hear! smile
Posted by: NotSoGifted

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 04:33 AM

DD15 does some stuff like this - and it is with common words, not complicated ones that maybe you have seen in print but have not heard. I can't recall the words that are like the OP's example at the moment, but when she sees "Tear Here" on a package, she almost always says "tear" as in the crying pronunciation, not as in ripping.

She also did some weird stuff with mixing up opposites when she was younger. The most notable one was hot & cold - she didn't get that straightened out until she was 6 or 7. I put her hand on something frozen and said "cold" countless times, but she kept mixing this up. This was all part of the reason I thought the kid was "not college material" when she was younger. At one point, someone (a psychologist) told me what this issue might be, but she was past that stage by then and testing was expensive.

I wouldn't worry that much. My kid like this is clearly the best writer amongst my three kids and likely has the largest vocabulary of the three. It is kind of odd, but doesn't seem to get in the way of her academics or everyday life.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 05:14 AM

My husband mispronounces "says", but only when reading, I find it so odd that he seems unaware of pronouncing it incorrectly given he would never mispronounce it in normal speech.
Posted by: amylou

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 07:18 AM

My dd is 13yo, and has done this with many words over the years, although these days mostly with less common words. As a toddler, she started learning to read at the same time she was starting to speak. She went on to read prodigious amounts ever since and has absorbed a large fraction of her vocabulary through reading. I chalk mispronunciations up to that, combined with the English Language and its annoying spelling/pronunciation irregularities. She's great at spelling, though, without any explicit effort, no doubt due in part to all the reading she has done.
Posted by: epoh

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 07:35 AM

My DS9 does this a lot with certain words as well. I think he's got a lot of internal dialog going on, lol. NO-vel is one of my particular favorites.
Posted by: Zen Scanner

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 07:38 AM

If it is pretty recent, then I'd wonder if it is an affectation as part of social camouflage. Maybe she does it more at school and actually doesn't intend to slip into the role at home.
Posted by: HowlerKarma

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 07:50 AM

My favorite from my DD fairly recently was "disciple." (With two short vowel sounds) wink

Posted by: Pru

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 08:49 AM

Thanks, everyone. I feel much better about it, although its recent appearance still strikes me as odd.

Zen Scanner's suggestion of it being part of social camouflage is an interesting angle. DD does strive to be ditzy and not as smart as she is, which I wasn't expecting with her being in a mostly gifted class.
Posted by: st pauli girl

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 08:58 AM

Is it possible she heard someone else in her class mispronounce the word(s), and now she's second-guessing herself? I have all kinds of words like that. (Byzantine is one!)

Interesting thread. My DS9's speech patterns recently were brought back to light when he got some comments from classmates telling him how much they like his accent. Of course, none of us in the family thought he had an accent... He learned to speak very early, and had many sounds he could not say, so he learned them differently. He has graduated from speech class, but there are some vowel sounds he says a bit differently, and I guess it sounds like an accent. I'm glad the girls like it! smile

ETA: Like others here, DS also was an early reader and has ideas about words he has read but never heard. Sometimes quite amusing. Mitochondria was an interesting one.
Posted by: ElizabethN

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 03/21/13 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
I can't recall the words that are like the OP's example at the moment, but when she sees "Tear Here" on a package, she almost always says "tear" as in the crying pronunciation, not as in ripping.

I suspect this is because the rhyming sound that she gets that way reinforces the mispronunciation. I actually do the same thing in my head on that one, although I have managed to train myself not to say it out loud.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Mispronouncing while speaking a common word? - 04/13/22 03:12 PM

I find it interesting that this type of mispronunciation has almost become a thing of the past as online dictionaries have become commonplace, and feature pre-recorded audio pronunciation.

That said, there was a word I evidently had difficulty with, and there was a particular person who would routinely take it upon themselves to mock me. The word was "aspartame," one of the possible sweeteners used in sugarless chewing gum. As online dictionaries emerged, they pronounced the word as I did. Go figure!
link - https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aspartame
Which pronunciation do you tend to use...?

BTW, the Word-of-The-Day feature is a popular option for building vocabulary.
One example: https://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day