Check Out 2020's Most Mispronounced Words

'Fauci' and 'Kamala' are among the toppers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 12, 2020 11:03 AM CST
Check Out 2020's Most Mispronounced Words
This combo of 2020 file photos shows Dr. Anotny Fauci, left, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, right.   (AP Photos/File)

Fauci, Kamala ... da Vinci? America's preeminent infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, and its incoming vice president, Kamala Harris, join the Renaissance master himself, Leonardo da Vinci, atop this year's list of most mispronounced words, as compiled by the US Captioning Company, which captions and subtitles real-time events on TV and in courtrooms. The list released Wednesday identifies the words that proved most challenging for newsreaders and people on television to pronounce this year. The caption company said it surveyed its members to generate the list, which is now in its fifth year and was commissioned by Babbel, a language-learning app company with headquarters in Berlin and New York. The commonly misspoken words, with pronounciations:

  • Anthony Fauci (AN-thon-nee FOW-chee): Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • Bangtan Sonyeondan (PUNG-tahn SOH-nyun-dahn): The full name of South Korean K-Pop band 'BTS,' which translates as "a group of bulletproof boys" or "bulletproof boy scouts."
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (YON-nis AHN-de-doh-KOON-boh): Greek basketball player who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks and was named the NBA's 'Most Valuable Player' this year.
  • Isaias (ees-ah-EE-ahs ): The name given to a powerful hurricane that caused significant damage to the East Coast and Caribbean this summer.
  • Kamala Harris: The Vice President-Elect. The AP has reported Harris' first name is pronounced "KAH-mah-lah"— or, as she explains in her biography, "'comma-la,' like the punctuation mark."
  • Leonardo da Vinci (lee-oh-NAR-doe dah-VIN-chee): The Italian painter, architect, and engineer who created the "Mona Lisa." A mispronunciation of his name was the subject of a viral meme on social media this year.

For more (including "Yosemite"), visit the AP.

(More words stories.)

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