funny words

Fun with language and words

As banal as it might sound, English is a funny language. But, with tricky homophones, confusing oxymorons, and words with pesky silent letters on the palette, “funny” might be a word that may puzzle many. Yet there are certain words in this preposterously beautiful language that can bring a smile on your face, or even make you role about the floor in hysterics!
Here are three words that I find amusing because of their unusual pronunciations and surprising meanings:

1. Ennui

“E-nyoo-I” – that’s how most of us pronounce the word at the first glance. What makes this word funny to me is the way it is actually pronounced – “on-wee”. Sounds so exotic right? Ennui is another word for boredom. Its characteristic simple pronunciation for a relatively complex spelling to describe an ordinary emotion is perhaps what makes it humorous in my eyes. It’s almost impossible to view “ennui” as a substitute for “boredom” in a sentence.
“Alice’s boredom was killing her” – nothing new about this sentence;
“Alice’s ennui was killing her” – a switch of words and the sentence sounds absurd!

2. Bologna

Referring to a kind of sausage, this word is pronounced as “buh-LOAN-ee”. Kind of reminds you of the word “baloney”, doesn’t it? The fact this sausage-describing word relates to a word describing nonsensical talk or writing and has a weird pronunciation draws a grin on my face.

3. Floccinaucinihilipilification

This monstrous word describes one of the humans’ very common habits – to deem or describe something as worthless. Though this long word might seem unnerving, its pronunciation is pretty straightforward. If you ask me, ignoring its meaning, this word sounds so magical it could have easily been in any of the Harry Potter books! It’s hard not smile upon hearing this outlandish-sounding word and the curious definition connected with it.


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