I have been meaning to post this confession for a while.
You know how you might read words all the time, know what they mean, know how to spell them but then hesitate when you have to actually pronounce them?
Last year I was having a conversation with my husband about something and the word “gaol” came up.
The conversation went like this.
“I hate that word gaol,” I said whilst I was reading stuff in a magazine.
“What did you say?” K asks staring at me.
“I hate the word gaol,” I repeat, “It is stupid, it just does not sound right when I say it. Doesn’t flow properly”.
“That is because you are pronouncing it incorrectly,” husband is staring in amazement at me.
“What do you mean – incorrectly. G-A-O-L – gayole,” I repeat to him like he is an idiot.
“It is G-A-O-L as in JAIL,” he looks at me in utter fascination.
“Are you serious?” I feel a creeping blush happening.
“Yes, and I cannot believe that it has taken you 43 years to know how to pronounce that word,” my husband starts laughing.
“Great, I cannot believe I have been reading books and pronouncing it my head as “gayole” and I have actually said it out loud to other people,” I am so embarrassed.
For the next few days he says things to me like I should go to gayole for my gaff.
I won’t tell him that for years I pronounced the word “Cotoneaster” as Cotton Easter.
Or the word “indignant” as “indijant”.
Or “what” as “wutt”.
Or “any” as “annie”.
Or always get the words “wonder” and “wander” confused in both pronunciation and in meaning.
Carnt do nuffin’ about it now.