My sister and I have always gotten the biggest kick out of our mom's own special pronunciation guide. She pronounces certain words certain ways and that's just the way it is.

She once mentioned that someone she'd met at work--and this was a long time ago--was a really mean person.

She referred to this person as an "ogre," except she said "org." When I corrected her, she said, "Well, that's what I said."

If a word ends with a syllable that begins with a "T" and ends with a vowel--like "burrito" or "Haiti"--then you get "burr-ee-TOE" or "hay-TEE."

The word "Arab" has always been "AY-rabb" like the Ray Stevens song "Ahab the Arab."

And, of course, there's Missouruh and Cincinnatuh, but I've heard many folks pronounce those words that way.

Our favorite is probably the way she pronounces the female counterpart to "hero."

You see, she just doesn't like the fact that it's a synonym to a hard drug, so instead of saying "heroine" the way the dictionary directs us to say "heroine," she says "he-ROW-inn."

And you're not gonna get her to stop.

And we wouldn't ever try.

If I think of some more, I'll throw 'em in.

So, what about you? Is there someone in your family who pronounces words incorrectly and on purpose.

I'd love to know. Send me an email at

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