Whether you find these too easy to get wrong or impossible to get right, the top mispronounced words of 2020 reflect more than just our daily struggle with the English language.
Well, the end of 2020 is just around the corner. While most of us were ecstatic to start the year, I’m certain that more of us are even more excited to end the year.
So, how does one measure up such a momentous year? Some will go and rank the year by monthly highlights. Some might go by celebrity news.
However, one ranking I thinking really helps put the whole year in scope is the list of the top mispronounced words of 2020!
But, how does one go about deciding such a list? Two sources helped determine which words made the cut. All of the list was compiled by the official US Captioning Company, which delegates captions and subtitles on TV and in courtrooms in real-time. With all the data compiled, Babbel, a language learning app company, commissions and publishes it at the end of the year.
Babbel first commissioned the US Captioning Company to make this list in 2015. As Todd Ehresmann, a senior linguist at Babbel, noted on the formation of this list, it reflects a year filled with political turmoil and a pandemic.
The Top Mispronounced Words of 2020
Ironically, Dr Anthony Fauci (AN-thon-nee FOW-chee) is one of the most important figures in the United States in 2020, and yet has one of the most mispronounced names of the year. As Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he has been trying to guide the nation through the pandemic.
Similiarly, Vice President elect Kamala Harris (KAH-mah-lah) ranks high on the list of mispronounced names. However, she has discussed how her first name is pronounced much like “comma-la”, after it was mocked by the Republican GOP. You can read more about this issue of racial discrimination and diminishment of Kamala Harris here.
We can see the popular media of 2020 reflected in the top mispronounced words of 2020 as well. For example, Bangtan Sonyeondan (PUNG-tahn SOH-nyun-dahn) or ‘BTS’ for short is ranking high on the list as well. K-Pop has never been more popular, and BTS (meaning “bullet proof boy scouts in Korean) is the best selling pop band in Korea by miles!
Does anyone remember Tiger King? Wildlife park operator ‘Doc’ Antle, legally known as Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle (mu-HAH-muh-yaw-vee bag-AH-wahn ANT-uhl) stumped viewers for months!
Leonardo da Vinci (lee-oh-NAR-doe dah-VIN-chee), although over five hundred years old, joins this year’s list of top mispronounced words. So, if you want to feel smart, I’d suggest giving this viral tik tok you can view below a watch (you won’t be disappointed)!
Also, we had famous locations like Nevada ( nev-ADD-ah ) and Yosemite (yoh-SEM-it-ee) National Park make the cut! However, the latter was due to an unfortunately hilarious mispronunciation you can view here.
Summing it Up
Ultimately, the top mispronounced words of 2020 show that this year was a struggle! Yet, through struggle we grow. Hopefully, that means we’ll all have a better year in January, and we’ll learn to pronounce things correctly.
In fact, there’s a lot of things to look forward to in 2021,like Adam Sandler Vows to Make ‘Worst Movie Ever’ and hopefully a COVID-19 vaccine!
Yet, judging by this viral video of Nigella Lawson, an English chef, pronouncing microwave wrong, I doubt we’ll ever get an entire year completely perfect.
Seasons tidings to all, and please, take caution when using your microwave (ME-cro-WAV-é).