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English Pronunciations & American Words We Misuse

Words you may be misusingEveryone wants to sound smart when they speak, especially in a professional setting. In an effort to sound intelligent and professional, many people try to lace their speech with complex vocabulary words. Unfortunately, this often leads to words being misused. Take a look at these commonly misused American words, and see how many have been creeping into your speech:


INCORRECT definition: a tragedy

CORRECT definition: a mockery (often used because something is not to the standard it is expected to be)

“The poorly run trial was a travesty of the justice system.”



INCORRECT definition: repetitive

CORRECT definition: superfluous; able to be cut out

Note: This is often confusing in that something may be redundant (able to be cut out) because it is repetitive.

“The second paragraph is redundant; it doesn’t really add anything to your message.”



INCORRECT definition: calm, not worried.

CORRECT definition: perplexed, confused

“The secretary’s handwriting was so messy, he simply stared at the memo nonplussed, unable to understand a word of it.”



“Conversate” is not a word. The word you are likely looking for is “converse.”

Remember: It is much more important to speak in a clear, confident manner than to pepper your speech with complex vocabulary words! Concentrate on developing a dynamic vocal quality, articulating clearly, and decreasing your use of filler words (e.g. “um”, “uh”, “like”) to increase your professional image. Feel like you could use some help? You may benefit from the services of a communication coach or corporate speech-language pathologist!

For information on the New York Amercian Accent Speech Training and English Pronunciation training services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 today