How do you say fifth? Writer reveals Australia’s most mispronounced words – and his PARTICULAR take on why they’re mispronounced
- Writer Kel Richards revealed Australia’s most mispronounced words
- The wordsmith, 75, said the fifth and reward are among the most common
- Burglars and the expression ‘pled guilty’ were also widely mispronounced
- Richards claims mispronunciation is caused by a ‘lazy mind and a lazy mouth’
An Australian writer has revealed the country’s most mispronounced words — and his damning take on why they’re mispronounced.
In an interview with Sky News, famed wordsmith Kel Richards said he received a “tsunami” of emails from viewers complaining about the mispronunciation of fifth, and normality and pay, the term for money paid for work or a service.
The 75-year-old said dozens of others wondered why burglars and the phrase “confessed” are so often mispronounced.
After claiming that mispronunciation is caused by a ‘lazy mind and lazy mouth’, Mr Richards expressed his disbelief at the confusion surrounding ‘reward’.
“I still don’t understand how people can make that mistake, if they’re even slightly educated, because they can’t write the word like that,” he said.
Australia’s most mispronounced words
Correct: Pleaded guilty
Incorrect: plead guilty
Later in the segment, Richards dismissed the mispronunciation of the word fifth — which Australians often say as “fith” — as nothing more than laziness.
‘They omit the ‘f’ in the middle… these things are caused by a lazy mouth or a lazy mind, and this is a lazy mouth – it’s someone who doesn’t bother bringing their bottom lip to their teeth ,’ he said.
He made similar criticisms of those who often pronounce ‘off-ten’, with a hard ‘t’.
Australian writer Kel Richards dismissed the mispronunciation of the word fifth – which Australians often say as ‘fith’ – as nothing more than laziness (stock image)
Richards said that anyone who says “normality” instead of “normality” uses an Americanized version of the word, while people who say “pledging guilty” instead of the correct past participle “plea” use a colloquialism from Scotland.
The clarifications, which have garnered nearly 4,000 views since they were uploaded on YouTube on Wednesday, sparked enthusiastic responses.
‘OFF-TEN is a hobbyhorse of mine, spoken on the east coast of the US. The T is silent,” one man wrote.
He said some of Australia’s most eloquent words include burglar (left) and the phrase “pled guilty.”
After claiming mispronunciation is caused by a ‘lazy mind and lazy mouth’, Mr Richards expressed disbelief at the confusion surrounding ‘reward’ (stock image)
Others express their frustration at additional mispronunciations.
“Aussie’s most chilling phrase is saying dates like ‘darter’ instead of ‘day ter,'” wrote one man.
“How about ‘should’ instead of the wrong ‘should’,” said a second.
A third added: ‘Phran (the area). I always hear people who can’t pronounce Prahran trying to help others pronounce it. Only deep-rooted old Melbourne folks get it right,’