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U.S. Captioning Company Releases List of 2021's Most Mispronounced Words


The U.S. Captioning Company released their annual list of the most mispronounced words on Tuesday.

Omicron, of course, was high on the list.

The list, which is in it’s sixth year running, was commissioned Babbel, a language learning platform.

“Newscasters in the U.S. have struggled with 2021′s new words and names while reporting on key sporting events, viral internet trends and emerging celebrities,” Esteban Touma, a standup comedian and teacher for Babbel Live, told the Associated Press.

“As a language teacher, it’s always interesting to see that some of these terms are usually new colloquialisms, or are rooted or borrowed from another language,” he said. “As a non-native speaker, I must confess it’s fun to see English speakers stumbling a bit for a change.”

The list of some of the year’s most common mispronunciations is as follows:

  • Cheugy (CHOO-gee): A trendy term popularized by Gen Z and used to mock an outdated and unfashionable aesthetic typically associated with millennials, such as “Live, Laugh, Love” signs.
  • Chipotle (chih-POHT-lay): The American fast food chain became the center of a viral trend this year challenging Baby Boomers to pronounce the name.
  • Dalgona (tal-goh-NAH): A Korean treat made with melted sugar and baking soda, popularized in Netflix’s “Squid Game.” (Touma notes that some speakers seem to produce a ”K” instead of the ”G” in the middle syllable.)
  • Dogecoin (DOHJ-coin): A divisive cryptocurrency that began somewhat ironically before being popularized by Elon Musk, causing its value to dramatically increase.
  • Eilish (EYE-lish): The singer Billie Eilish, whose album “Happier Than Ever” was released this year to critical acclaim and nominated for the Grammy Awards’ Album of the Year.
  • Ethereum (ih-THEE-ree-um): Another cryptocurrency that skyrocketed in value this year amid the decentralized-currency boom.
  • Ever Given (EV-er GIV-en): The name of the ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March, costing billions of dollars in lost trade. Many newscasters mistook the name of the ship as “Evergreen,” the name of the company that owns the vessel, which was printed on its hull.
  • Glasgow (GLAHZ-go): The host city of November’s United Nations Climate Conference was mispronounced by both President Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama.
  • Kelce (KELs): The Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce revealed on radio this year that his teammates and the media had been mispronouncing his name for years.
  • Omicron (AH-muh-kraan / OH-mee-kraan): A new variant of COVID-19 first identified in November, named in keeping with the World Health Organization’s system of identifying variants with Greek letters. (Touma notes it’s pronounced differently in the U.S. and the U.K.)
  • Shein (SHEE-in): The Chinese fast fashion company at the center of the “Shein haul” trend, in which participants record themselves trying on numerous different outfits from the company.
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas (STEH-fuh-nohs TSEE-tsee-pas): Currently ranked as the world’s No. 4 tennis player, the Greek athlete rose to international prominence when he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open in June.
  • Yassify (YEAH-sih-fai): A popular trend in which multiple beauty filters are applied to well-known pictures or portraits for comic effect.
*For corrections please email corrections@timcast.com*

2 responses to “U.S. Captioning Company Releases List of 2021’s Most Mispronounced Words”

  1. pandusa says:

    I love words…but not those. If there was any justice in the world, Billie Eilish would be criminally prosecuted for the rendition of Crosby Stills and Nash “For What it is Worth” (Thinks
    it’s time we stop. Hey, what’s that sound) done at the DNC. The song kind of defined the Vietnam era. As far as CSN goes, I guess for what it is worth-they got what they deserved for letting it be used by DNC and done by Eilish. You are known by the demon-ratic company you keep- assholes. Everybody LOOK what’s goin down…
    (I know it is kind of off topic, but it has rankled me ever since the DNC. With the mention of Eilish it just took me back to the scene of the crime.)

  2. Vashts1985 says:

    i cringe whenever someone says dog ee coin

    also whenever someone mistakes a gif for peanut butter.

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