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Tag: błędy

Mispronounced words

Mispronounced words

English Pronunciation

(Dumb Ways To Pronounce And Spell)

It’s almost two weeks since I heard „Dumb Ways To Die” for the first time. From that time on, the song has been spreading in Poland like a highly contagious disease. Fortunately, the only symptoms it causes is the broad smile and good mood. At present, it’s the most promoted and cited song in Polish radio stations. Despite quite good knowledge of English, Polish users still have some problems with the proper pronunciation of the word dumb.

It’s not a crime to mispronounce the new words if you learn a new language, but it’s annoying and kind of disturbing when you listen to a reporter introducing the song, mispronouncing the very first word. It’s a common mistake I noticed while listening to radio presenters.

To make you aware of the rule we should apply to such a word as dumb, let’s have a look at similar words. Dumb, bomb, climb or comb should be pronounced in the same way, that is with the last character being mute.

That is why the proper pronunciation of those words should be as follows:

Mispronounced words: dumb, bomb, climb, comb - phonetic notation.
Dumb , bomb, climb, comb – phonetic notation.

The abovementioned words are the perfect example of the words, which cause problems to the Polish learners of English; however, there is a good side of this mispronunciation too. If any Pole wants to search for a wrongly pronounced words, he or she would type the proper spelling in a search engine box. At least that’s what I thought.

Dumb Ways To Spell

To my surprise, the Internet is full of the misspelled word in question. Even though we hear dumb as damb (in Polish), over ten thousand entries with the wrong spelling can be found on Internet:

Search query results - dumb spelled as dum
11900 entries found on the Internet for the query „dum ways to die”

It can prove only one thing: some learners heard dumb properly pronounced, but misspelled the word later on, during writing about the song. Why is it so? Why not to look up the word in a dictionary before reproducing it in any articles? The only reason for multiple sites with wrong annotation I can imagine is SEO strategy of the webmasters. It’s nothing new that to attract visitors, the authors of any texts sometimes make errors on purpose. So called typos (misspelled variations of the original word) are very often used purposefully to attract traffic from those, who typed the wrong version of the word while searching for the right content. Nonetheless, there is a huge difference between putting dum as a key word (meta tag) for your website and using dum inside the web article.

Lessons learnt

I hope I helped you understand two things today. Firstly, the final b is mute when preceded by m. Secondly, Google search engine cannot be an ultimate tool to determine whether a particular spelling is acceptable or not; errors are almost as common as lazy people.


Sorry for any typos in the article. It can just be my SEO strategy. 😉

Correction symbols – symbole błędów w pracach studentów angielskiego

Correction symbols – symbole błędów w pracach studentów angielskiego

Przy sprawdzaniu prac swoich studentów zawsze znajdziemy jakieś błędy. Przy mnogości błędów, jakie popełniają studenci, nauczyciele musieli wypracować sobie system oznaczeń tych błędów tak, by po oddaniu pracy, student wiedział jakiego rodzaju błąd popełnił i gdzie ma coś poprawić. W poniższej tabelce znajdziecie niepełne zestawienie symboli i ich znaczeń, które są na codzień używane przez nauczycieli akademickich:


St Style
WT Wrong Tense
WW Wrong Word
TrS Transition Signal
A Article
WP Wrong Pronoun
WF Wrong Form
Awk Awkward
P Punctuation
SVA Subject-Verb-Agreement
C Capitalization
SM Subject Missing
Rep Repetition
Agr Agreement
WO Wrong Order
Frag Fragment
SS Sentence Structure
CONJ Conjunction
NFS Needs Further Support
NMP Needs More Proof
PAR Parallelism


Linguistic Atelier