…but what I am struggling to define is when the word which gets read aloud wrongly in the first place. Often it is a word which has one spelling, but can be pronounced in two ways – each having an alternate meaning. Common ones are
The prince gave a deep bow, and the princess tied a bow in her hair
The miserable girl moped round the house while her boyfriend rode away on his moped.
The snake began to slough off his old skin as the horse sank down into the slough
Reading station was full of commuters reading their newspapers
The congregation sat with their mouths agape as the preacher declared that he no longer believed in agape, the love of God.
But there are other words which sit there on the page and just refuse to make proper sense. Many of us have been mizzled by misled, I am sure!
And the current ‘synthetic phonics’ approach to teaching reading is no help whatsoever, because English is such a gloriously irrational language.
My little rant has been brought on because I came across a word the other day which I just could not work out. The word was
it appears there was an optional hyphen missing, and the word was actually
to rhyme with wild, i.e. made into an island. [Apologies to all you Matthew Arnold scholars, who have read ‘To Margeurite’ and so knew the word already]
I have never been that fond of MA’s poetry myself, or maybe I’d have encountered this word before.
But somebody tell me [Liz, do you know?] what this sort of mispronunciation is called?
Some are often deliberate – picturesque as picture-skew and antique as anti-queue.
Our family refers to Spud-U-Like as Spudd-oo-lickay.
Are there deliberate mispronunciations in your family?
…and please don’t point out to me that enisle is an anagram of senile, I am feeling enough of a dotty old lady already!