I Can’t SAY That Word QUESTION

There are a number of words I could say, but never having seen them in print, I was shocked to find that they were spelled THAT way.


There was a 1980 hit song by a group called the Barracudas called Summer Fun, from an album I happen to own; in fact, a mail-order customer at FantaCo sent it to me in gratitude. The introduction to the song comes from an ad c. 1967; the storyline was that a Plymouth car dealer couldn’t say the word Barracuda, problematic because the hot Plymouth car that year was supposedly the Barracuda. (The whole ad can be heard, after the 27-second mark, here.

What reminded me of this was the fact that I was working on a reference question last month and realized I could not say the word ‘aesthetician’, though I can say the root word ‘aesthetic’; it’s the two middle syllables. Arthur noted on a podcast that he cannot say ‘vitiligo’, a condition I have.

On the other hand, some words that I just LOVE to say. They tend to be French or Italian, and often end in a vowel, such as Rigoletto or Giovanni. But last month at work, I was really getting off saying the Japanese word ‘yakitori’, which means skewered chicken.

Also, there are a number of words I could say, but never having seen them in print, I was shocked to find that they were spelled THAT way. Two that come to mind are ‘epitome’ or ‘facetious’.

What words do you have difficulty pronouncing?
What words do you love pronouncing?
What words surprised you by how they were spelled?