We all like to imagine that we're smarter than the average bear. And, to be fair, 50 percent of people are! (That's how the math works out.)

But, no matter how smart you are, there may be some words that you're pronouncing incorrectly.

Now, to be fair, a lot of the informal rules about pronunciation are problematic for various reasons. For instance, a lot of people get all up in arms when someone says, "aks" instead of "ask." But did you know that the "aks" pronunciation actually predates "ask"? So if you're of the "older is better and everything must be super proper" school of thought, you should actually be saying "aks" rather than judging people who do.


Even the most brilliant people among us are probably pronouncing some words incorrectly. With the number of words in the English language, it was pretty much bound to happen, ya know?

So, here's a list of some of the most commonly mispronounced words. Starting with...

Chrissy Teigen's last name!

That's right, folks. We've been pronouncing it wrong the whole time.

Although, even she corrects people when they say "TIE-gen" now.

Even Chrissy doesn't completely understand why, from the looks of it. Perhaps for the sake of maintaining consistency?

But look: Even her mom weighed in on the matter.

Yup, it's "TIE-gen." Your life is a lie. My life is a lie. Do you know how many times I've said "TEE-gen?" So many. So many times.

Chipotle also piped up and said people have been pronouncing their name wrong for decades.

In my experiences, parents usually say "chi-poll-tay." But that's not right.

Here's the correct pronunciation:

Thanks, Becky! I'm guessing you helped a lot of people today. Now, let's take a moment to go over other words that you may be mispronouncing.


Look at that word. Do you see an X in that word? No, because there isn't one. So stop saying "EXpresso."


This one legit blew my mind. If you're talking about playing loudly according to the dynamics in sheet music, that's pronounced "for-tay." But if you're talking about something you're good at? It's actually pronounced "fort." Just "fort."


This one is sort of a bone of contention on the Internet. The term is actually an acronym that stands for "Graphics Interchange Format." Since the word "graphics" has a hard G sound, a lot of people (myself included) pronounce the word "GIF" with a hard G. But the creator of GIFs himself, Steve Wilhite, insists that the word is actually pronounced with a soft G.


You're technically not supposed to throw an extra syllable in there and say "mis-CHEE-vee-ous." It's just "MIS-chi-vous."


Do you pronounce the T in "often?" You're not supposed to! Say "offen" instead.


This is another one I've been saying incorrectly for my whole life. It's "PREL-yood." Not "PRAY-lood."

Dr. Seuss

"The Children's author was given the middle name "Suess" after his mother's maiden name. It was originally pronounced "Zoice" which rhymes with "voice." However, he accepted the anglicized pronunciation of "Soose," so you're not breaking any rules or anything if you say it that way.

Daylight Saving Time

lot of people say, "Daylight Savings Time" adding an S to make "Saving" plural. But, the correct phrase is with "Saving," as a singular word.

Barbed Wire

This one might be more of a regional thing, but some people say "bob wire" rather than "barbed wire." "Barbed wire" is correct; it refers to the sharp points — or barbs — on the wire itself.


There's a difference between a "cavalry" — soldiers who fight on horseback, and "Calvary" — the place where, according to Christian tradition, Jesus was crucified. Now you know!

Dog-eat-dog World

It's not "doggy dog world." Although, that world actually sounds delightful.


Some people say "ex" instead of "et." Interestingly enough, the classic Latin pronunciation would have actually been with a hard C in "cetera" — "et KET-ur-uh."

For all intents and purposes

Yup. That's the actual phrase. Not "for all intensive purposes." If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. What would an intensive purpose even be?


It can be tempting to add an extra H in there and say "heighth," much like we do with "width." But don't!


You probably know this one already, but just in case: "Irregardless" does not mean anything. You're looking for the phrase, "regardless."


A common mispronunciation for this word is "joo-luh-ree" as opposed to "joo-ull-ree." If it trips you up, just try thinking of the word "jewel" to help you out!


The word "larynx" is often plagued by a transposition in letters known to linguists as metathesis. This means people say "lair-nyx" even though the Y comes before the N. "Lair-enx" is the correct pronunciation.


As in, "safe to drink." Even though you might carry drinkable water in a pot, "potable" is pronounced "Poe-tuh-bull."


It can be tempting to add an extra A in there and say "Real-uh-tur," but the correct pronunciation is "Real-turr." Also, did you know "Realtor" is a trademarked term?

Silicon or Silicone

There's a difference between the two! "Silicone" (sill-ih-kone) is the substance that's used for breast implants. On the other hand, "Silicon" (sill-ih-kin") is a chemical element.


If you pronounce this word with a B anywhere in it, you're doing it wrong. Sorry to have to be the one to tell you.

Take for Granted

It's pretty common for people to say they "take things for granite" instead of taking them "for granted." Unless you're talking about a piece of rock that you assumed was granite, you mean you "take it for granted."


We tend to add an extra A to this one too, and say "try-ath-uh-lon." It should be "try-ath-lon."


Don't say "upmost." There's another T!


Yup, even the word "pronunciation" can throw people for a loop. They might say "pro-noun-see-ay-shun," but it the correct way to say it is, "pro-nun-see-ay-shun." Share this with your favorite word nerd!