8 words I sound out weird every time

I’m an avid reader. A writer. A mildly OCD grammarphobe. An English major. A grown ass woman with above average intelligence, for heaven’s sake. So why do I sound out certain words in my head every single time?

Sometimes it’s a long, slow drawl. Sometimes I’m adding an extra sound to suss out that silent letter. Whatever the reason, it seems there are some words I just can’t write out without these mental calisthenics.

Shoot. It looks like I need to add calisthenics to my list now, too.


Cologne.  Cuh-lown-ya. Co-low-n. Coh-loh-nwhu. Oh for heaven’s sake, I’ll just use perfume.


Bologna.  Spelling is just one of the reasons I’m grateful I don’t eat this oddly processed meat anymore.


Quinoa.  Seriously? Seriously?! That’s how you pronounce it? Well, okay…but now I’ve got a front tuck, roundoff, double back handspring, back layout sort of routine just to put it down on paper.


Brussels sprouts.  Don’t forget the s. Plural. Brussels. Yes, yes, I know the country but geography’s the last thing I’m thinking about when planning vegetable dishes. Which brings us to that capital B.


Worcestershire sauce.  Wor-chest-er-shur. Whir-chester-shurrr. Wer-chest-er-sure. No amount of spelling calisthenics has gotten me to spell this word correctly. Ever. Including in this blog post. Bless.


Conscientious.  Con-shee-en-shus. Con-s(c)hee-n-shus. Con-science-tious. I plod out those syllables like a determined Clydesdale along with the inevitable “versus conscious” thrown in for good measure.


Hierarchy.  High-er-arc-ee. Hi-er-arch-ee. Hi-er-arch-y. I can usually get there with this one.


Colonel.  Kernel…kernel…okay, so basically it’s nothing like the word. Co-lo-ne-l. WTF is wrong with this language??

16 thoughts on “8 words I sound out weird every time

  1. It’s a constant test, this language. At least we don’t also have to deal with male and female tenses (is that the right term?) too. And in Massachusetts Worcestershire is W’uster, so why?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For Worcestershire sauce, I just say Lea & Perrins.

    One of the tell-tale signs that you grew up in Pittsburgh is that you refer to Bologna (especially in ring form) as “Jumbo” – Don’t know why, but it’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know what you mean! Some words are just weird. Here we just say baloney, and woostershire. I finally got my fingers to type consciousness the right way, because of the SOCS, but I still can’t spell it out loud (I just tried haha). One I’ve always had trouble with is the name Penelope. To me it’s always Penna Lope. Another if hyperbole, which to me should be hyper – bowl. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This cracked me up. I loathe mispronunciations so, always (in my head) I correct people. I was in the grocery store and this older couple was on the hunt for quinoa. Only they said it wrong. **in my head** I resisted the urge to correct them. But bologna–I love to say it just like that! The hell with baloney! This was a fun read.

    Liked by 1 person

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