You're Saying It Wrong

New episodes available on alternate Fridays

From KMUW Studios, You're Saying It Wrong is a podcast that looks at what we get wrong — and what we sometimes get right — when it comes to this English language. Hosted by KMUW's Fletcher Powell, each episode features a conversation with the sister and brother who wrote the book on it. Literally. You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse is by Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras. (Or as we like to call them, Kathy and Ross.)

Each episode Kathy and Ross send a word to Fletcher, and then they convene over the airwaves to hear him pronounce it. Sometimes he gets it right. And sometimes they get to say, "You're Saying It Wrong."

Listen here, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Pocket CastsGoogle Play, or Stitcher. (If you'd like to learn more about ways to listen on demand, read our guide here.)

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Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

On this episode of You're Saying It Wrong, Kathy and Ross explain the notion of the magic "e". Does that "e" have anything to do to hyperbole, epitome, Hermione, and Aphrodite? And speaking of Aphrodite, why does hermaphrodite — the combination of Hermes and Aphrodite — play by different rules?

It's all here:

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Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

  

In this episode of You're Saying It Wrong, Kathy, Ross and Fletcher discuss jibe vs. jive. They also look at the origins and connotations of "jive" from the 1920s to today.

And our listener question asks why we pronounce primer as "primmer" when we're talking about the little instructional booklets, when the rules of English would seem to indicate we should pronounce it with a long "i", like we do when we're talking about an undercoat of paint.

So much to discuss...

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Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

In this episode of You're Saying It Wrong, Kathy, Ross and Fletcher discuss prerogative and other examples of metathesis (switching letters or sounds around in a word) like prescription, foliage and cavalry.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

In this episode of You're Saying It Wrong, we focus on "confusable words," also sometimes called "paronyms": words that look and/or sound very similar to each other but have different meanings.

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

This episode is a bit of a departure for us. Instead of a specific word we tend to say wrong, Kathy and Ross present Fletcher with groups of words we say wrong. (That theme is still the same.) 

It's probably obvious that we love rules at You're Saying It Wrong. So it's equally unnerving and thrilling when we get to break them. In this episode we're  dealing with split infinitives, ending sentences with prepositions, and trying to "Latinize" English — all rules we are allowed to break!

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Do you pronounce things the way they're spelled rather than the way they're actually pronounced? This issue of "spelling pronunciation" was raised when Kathy and Ross sent the word clapboard to Fletcher. Which brought up other words like waistcoat, blackguard, and forehead. Has there been a shift toward (or towards, if you fall in that camp) spelling pronunciation?

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

In this episode, we talk about a lot of different words and how to pluralize them, but the specific question Kathy and Ross asked of our host, Fletcher Powell: "How do you say the plural of octopus?"

Are you saying it wrong?

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Something that a person can do well or a strong ability is called a forte, which is this week's word. You know the definition, but are you saying it wrong?

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

Location, location, location. It's important in real estate, and often it determines pronunciation. Especially when the word is a place. This week's word is Gotham. How do you say it?

You're Saying It Wrong host Fletcher Powell and our language experts, Kathy Petras and Ross Petras, tackle "Gotham," as well as Greenwich and the Thames — names of other British places. And don't get us started on the Welsh!

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