It can be very embarrassing when you pronounce words wrong. Let's face it, the English language is super complicated, especially if you're learning it for the first time.
You can't always trust yourself to pronounce things phonetically either because of all the different rules!
Recently, a relative pronounced the word "epitome" like "epi-tome." They were embarrassed when I corrected them.
I told them that it wasn't a big deal, though they did note that they love that word, have used it for a long time, and that no one corrected them until that moment...
People told their stories after Redditor adeptwarrior asked the online community:
"What's an 'oh sh*t' moment where you realised you've been doing something the wrong way for years?"
"When I was five..."
"When I was five a Pizza Hut employee told me that the powder on the breadsticks was called fairy dust. Ordered extra fairy dust on my breadsticks until I was around 14 when an employee said ‘do you mean garlic salt?’ It still devastates me to realize how obtuse I was."
Believe it or not, Pizza Hut does refer to the mixture—made of of italian seasoning oregano, basil, garlic, marjoram, and parmesan—as fairy dust.
"When he caught me..."
"It wasn’t very long, but when I was learning to drive my dad was explaining the rule of thumb regarding a safe distance to be behind the car in front of you. I thought it meant to hold your thumb up and if your thumb didn’t cover the entire car you were too close to it."
"When he caught me doing that he asked me what I was doing. When I explained he burst out laughing, then considered it, and concluded it wasn’t a bad idea but perhaps a bit distracting."
Also every other driver thinks youre a super friendly guy or a bit passive agressive.
"We got it delivered..."
"We bought a nice liquor cabinet. We got it delivered and noticed it was a bit shorter than we thought. No biggie. Three years later, we’re moving. Lift up cabinet and these beautiful, ornate, screw on legs wrapped in tape and bubble wrap fall off the bottom. Looks so much better now!"
This is cute—it's like you discovered an entirely brand new piece of furniture!
"When he mentioned..."
"Until last week, when my father in law would made a phone call on his very basic non-touch-screen flip phone he would open the menu, scroll to the phone icon, open it, hit the soft key for contacts, scroll to the person he wanted to call, press ok, then press the soft key to call."
"When he mentioned how he preferred his landline because he could just dial the number, I said "Humour me. Just dial the number and hit the talk button." I've never seen a man so simultaneously grateful and embarrassed."
Aww, this is sweet. It's important to help older folks feel up to speed with technology. He was definitely more grateful than embarrassed.
"Since the dawn of time..."
"Since the dawn of time, I would pick up the silverware and utensils out of their tray in the dishwasher and put them away in their drawers then go back and pick up more out of the dishwasher. Then one day I saw my wife lift the tray out of the dishwasher and I legit stood there with my mouth open."
I did not ask to be attacked like this. Leave me alone!
"I always thought..."
"I always thought eggplant tasted "itchy" like itchy was a flavor, like sour or salty. Fed some to my baby and his face turned red wherever the eggplant touched, and I realized we're both just allergic to eggplant. And itchy isn't a flavor."
This is rather sweet but glad to hear that neither you nor your baby had a more serious reaction!
"Apparently the red ring around the bologna is not supposed to be eaten."
Tell that to just about everyone I grew up with.
"My mom has been pronouncing Massachusetts "Massa Two Sh*ts" for years and no one corrected her because they thought she just had strong feelings about Massachusetts."
I mean, have you heard of "Massholes"? They're a thing.
"Well the name I recorded..."
"Well... This was a few years ago. I was the director of IT for a very large company. I was given a new cellphone and told to setup my voicemail. I don’t know that when I recorded my name it would be played to whomever I leave a voice mail for."
"Well the name I recorded was, “Dooder84 Corporate IT Godddd!!!”
I worked there for 4 years until someone in the hallway referred to me as the “corporate IT GoD!” I was so embarrassed."
Wear it confidently because this type of stuff makes people like you more. They don't feel the need to be fake around you.
"My mom used to..."
"My mom used to refer to me as a “bull in a china shop." Always heard it as “bowl in a china shop." Thinking it was a compliment. At about 22 I hear someone else use the phrase and realized she meant “bull,” not “bowl."
Aww, there goes your mom telling you how dainty and priceless you are again!
Don't be too embarrassed. We all fumble, it's what makes us human. Laugh at yourself because chances are that no one else cares as much as you do.
Have some stories of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!