Most times ignorance is said to be bliss. Other times, it’s just plain embarrassing. Imagine getting roasted on social media for misspelling a word, or getting laughed at for pronouncing wrongly at a public gathering. Trust Nigerians to correct you with utmost savagery when in actual fact no one knows everything. This post highlights 10 commonly misspelt and mispronounced words in Nigeria that you may come across and the right ways to pronounce and spell them.
Nigerians are one of the most intelligent sets of people in the world. But when it comes to spelling and pronunciation, we often fall into blunders, and that is quite understandable. After all, English is not our native tongue and the dictionary is a rather voluminous book.
Below are 10 commonly misspelt words and 10 commonly mispronounced words in Nigeria that you probably had no idea you’ve been spelling or saying incorrectly all along:
10 commonly misspelt words in Nigeria
Many of us have made this error at least a thousand times. There’s absolutely nothing incorrect about the word re-numerate, however, it might surprise you to know that there’s no such thing as ‘renumeration’. To renumerate means to count again, but if you thought it had anything to do with payment for services, then you have it all wrong. I believe the word you’re searching for is ‘remuneration’.
“Convenant keeping God, there is no one like you…” I bet you’ve heard many worship leaders sing those lyrics time and again. It only follows that they spell it just like they pronounce it. But the truth remains, there is in fact no ‘n’ in ‘Covenant’.
Someone narrates an experience to you but it comes off vague. In Nigeria, you ask them to ‘expantiate’. In reality, you ask them to “expatiate”. Just like covenant, there’s no “n” in ‘expatiate’.
This one word is not only misspelt, it’s often mispronounced. Although when in its verb form, it’s spelt ‘pronounce’, when it changes to a noun, you drop the second ‘o’. It is correctly spelt as “pronunciation”.
At this point, it’s safe to conclude that we just like adding extra ‘n’s’ to words, because the ‘n’ in ’emanciated’ is only a figment of our imagination. The actual word is spelt and pronounced as “emaciated”.
I remember having a problem with this word myself when I was quite younger. Why did one word have to be so complex? If it’s pronounced hierachy, why isn’t it spelt ‘hierachy’ as well? Unlike other words we’ve dealt with, this one has an extra letter we often omit. It is correctly spelt as ‘hierarchy’. Till now, the need for the extra ‘r’ beats me.
This word is proof that the English language does not always comply with the rules of common sense. Just like the word “pronounce”, its noun form does not follow from its verb form. Brethren, it is not ‘maintainance’ but rather it’s spelt as ‘maintenance’.
You might be wondering how this word got on the list. Merely looking at it, you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the spelling. Let me help you. There’s no “e” after the “t”. It is simply spelt as “interpret”. It does look a bit odd, but it is what it is.
This is another word no one should be faulted for misspelling. Surprisingly, the ‘u’ actually comes before the ‘o’. It is correctly spelt as ‘buoyant’.
it’s funny how the word grammar itself is often misspelt, just the same way misspell is also misspelt. I’ve seen posts where those criticizing bad grammar can not spell the word correctly. There isn’t and there never will be an ‘e’ in ‘grammar’.
10 commonly mispronounced words in Nigeria
1. Divorce: When a couple splits and decides to go their separate ways, they go through a ‘dee- vos’ not a ‘dy-vos’
2. Debt: This is one of the most commonly mispronounced words. When you owe, you pay up your ‘det’. The ‘b’ in ‘debt’ is silent.
3. Et cetera: You’re listing items and you get tired, you add an ‘etc.’ If you ever have to pronounce it in full, it’s not pronounced as ‘et-ce-te-ra’. It’s ‘et-setra’.
4. Cache: Your phone is running rather slowly, you do not clear the ‘ca-shay’; You clear the ‘kash’.
5. Fuel When you’re at the filling station queuing for gas, it’s important you know that what you’re buying is not ‘fwel’ but ‘fyool’.
6. Leopard: They say a leopard does not change it’s spots. A ‘le-pad’ doesn’t, but a ‘lio-pad’ might.
7. Gear: You’re in physics class or you’re changing gears in your manual vehicle, it might interest you to know that it’s pronounced ‘gi-a’ and not ‘ji-a’.
8. Suite: When you get to the front desk at the hotel reception, you’re not ordering a ‘soot’ but rather a ‘sweet’.
9. Bomb: When Boko Haram does their thing, they use guns and ‘boms’. The ‘b’ in ‘bomb’ is silent.
10. Demon: After binding and casting and things still aren’t working out, maybe you’re just pronouncing it wrongly. The word is pronounced ‘di-mon’ not ‘de-mon’. ‘Di’ as in ‘Dig’.
Have you seen a word or two you probably got wrong all this while? Now that you’ve realised the error of your ways, go and sin no more!
You might also be interested in 3 Nigerian English Words That Sound Weird in the UK.