Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Billie eilish and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce have one thing in common: Announcers kill their names. Virtually everyone is having trouble with “Omicron. “And” cheugy “is apparently a lot to chew on.
All four made this year’s list of the most mispronounced words, compiled by the US Captioning Company, which captioned and captioned events in real time on television and in courtrooms.
The list released Tuesday identifies the words that were found to be the most challenging for news readers and people on television to pronounce this year.
The captioning company said it surveyed its members to generate the list, which is now in its sixth year and was commissioned by Babbel, a language learning platform headquartered in Berlin and New York.
“News anchors in the US have struggled with the new 2021 words and names while reporting on key sporting events, viral internet trends and emerging celebrities,” said Esteban Touma, Babbel Live comedian and teacher.
“As a language teacher, it is always interesting to see that some of these terms are often new colloquialisms, or are ingrained or borrowed from another language,” he said. “As a non-native speaker, I must confess that it is fun to see English speakers stumble a bit for a change.”
Here’s how Touma breaks down the correct pronunciations of the most commonly mispronounced words:
– Cheugy (CHOO-gee): A buzzword popularized by Gen Z and used to poke fun at a dated and old-fashioned aesthetic typically associated with millennials, such as “Live, Laugh, Love” signs.
– Chipotle (Chih-POHT-lay): The American fast food chain became the center of a viral trend this year challenging Baby Boomers to pronounce the name.
– Dalgona (tal-Goh-NAH) This is a Korean made with melted sugar and baking soda, popularized on Netflix “Squid game.” Touma notes that some speakers seem to produce a “K” instead of the “G” in the middle syllable.
– Dogecoin (DOHJ currency): a division cryptocurrency which started somewhat ironically before being popularized by Elon Musk, causing its value to rise dramatically.
– Eilish (EYE-lish): Singer Billie Eilish, whose album “Happier Than Ever” was released this year to critical acclaim and nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards.
– Ethereum (ih-THEE-ree-um): Another cryptocurrency that soared in value this year amid the decentralized currency boom.
– Ever Given (EV-er GIV-ES): The name of the ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March, costing a billion dollars in lost trade. Many announcers confused the ship’s name with “Evergreen”, the name of the company that owned the ship, which was printed on its hull.
– Glasgow (GLAHZ-go): Both President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama mispronounced the host city of the United Nations Climate Conference in November.
Kelce (KELs): Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce revealed on the radio this year that his teammates and the media had mispronounced his name for years.
– Omicron (AH-muh-kraan / OH-mee-kraan): a new variant of COVID-19 first identified in November, named according to the World Health Organization’s Greek letter variant identification system . Touma notes that it is pronounced differently in the US and UK
– Shein (SHEE-in): the Chinese fast-fashion company at the center of the “Shein Haul” trend, in which participants record themselves trying on numerous different company outfits.
– Stefanos Tsitsipas (STEH-fuh-nohs TSEE-tsee-pas): Currently ranked the world’s No. 4 tennis player, the Greek athlete rose to international fame when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open in June.
– Yassify (yes-SiH-FAI): A popular trend in which multiple beauty filters are applied to familiar images or portraits for comic effect.
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