Malapropisms and mispronunciations are fairly common. There are bound to be things we’ve read or familiar but not able to pronounce as we are supposed to. Error always played an important role in language change. Today’s mistake could be tomorrow’s accepted norm. There are lots of wonderful examples of alternative pronunciations that have become standard usage. Here are some with fancy technical names.
Adder, apron and umpire all used to start with an “n”. Constructions like “A nadder” or napron” were so common. Linguists call this kind of thing reanalysis or rebracketing.
Wasp used to be waps, bird used to be brid and horse used to be hros. Remember this when the next time you hear someone complaining about aks for ask . It’s called Metathesis, and it’s a very common, perfectly natural
English spelling can be a struggle, but it’s also provides us with interesting pieces of information about the history of pronunciation. Are we being lazy when we say the name of the third day of the working week? It was once “Woden’s day” (named after the Norse god), the “d” isn’t just for decoration.
In Norwegian, “sk” is pronounced “sh”. The English-speaking adopters of skiing actually went shiing.
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