Why English is the hardest language to learn

100 Most Often Mispronounced Words and Phrases in EnglishI found this link over at Andy Baio's site. Having the linguistic fetish that I do, I found it fascinating. There's some great entries in there such as "bidness" (for business, "nucular" (for nuclear), and "Heineken Remover" (Heimlich maneuver). There's also the classics that are mispronounced such as acrossed, drownd, excape, excetera, Febyuary, and heighth. And my old favorite: 'erb for Herb - "Does, "My friend Herb grows 'erbs," sound right to you? This is a US oddity generated by the melting pot (mixed dialects). Initial [h] is always pronounced outside America and should be in all dialects of English." But they missed two of the ones that really irk me - clique and niche. Anybody who knows me will know how much I hate it when they're pronounced "click" and "nich". That drives me absolutely bonkers! Now I know there's exceptions to every rule, ESPECIALLY in English, but it's a quiche (keesh) right? Not a "kich". And it's technique (not teknik) and antique (not antik) right? So why would niche and clique be any different? Now I'm told that "klik" is an "accepted" pronunciation but only because of years of mispronunciation. Same with "nich". Still drives me nuts though. Ok, let me get off my high horse here for a second. Reading through this list, there were some words I didn't know I was mispronouncing. Yes, that's a public admission I've been pronouncing words incorrectly. For example, I didn't know with "diptheria" the "ph" in this word is pronounced [f], not [p]. The same with "sherbert", apparently it's pronounced "sherbet." Who knew? Anyway, an interesting collection of words and phrases. I love words. Yeah, I'm a dork.