Is There Some Mischief in Being Mischievious?
by Owen Fourie
I like Wuggle Pets! They’re cute. I think I’ll order the mischievious monkey. What’s that? You say that there is no such word as mischievious.
Well, listen to this commercial. This word is used here at 0:47, so it must be right. [English Essay Writing Tips derives no income from this commercial. There is also no guarantee that it will still be available for you to hear.]
The truth is that there is mischief here. Regrettably, it is not as much in the cute monkey as it is in the wrong pronunciation of the word mischievous.
The wrong pronunciation, which is becoming quite common, has an extra syllable that leads to the incorrect spelling of the word.
The following table compares the correct and incorrect pronunciations and spellings:
Mischievous versus Mischievious
|Pronunciation||mis – chee’ – vee – uhs
Note:– The emphasis is on the second syllable.– The third syllable is an intrusion.
|mis’ – chi – vis
Note:– The emphasis is on the first syllable.– The i’s in the second and third syllables are half-vowel sounds.
|Spelling||mischievious or mischevious||mischievous|
Click here to hear the correct pronunciation of mischievous.
The first loudspeaker icon on that web page will give you the British pronunciation; the second icon will give you the American pronunciation. Neither way incorporates the intrusive syllable.
One website lists the “real word” as “mischievious” and the “common misspelling as “mischievous.” They go on to state that they are “pretty sure” the word mischievous is misspelled, and then they list links for further research.
Although the links themselves evince the correctness of mischievous, they have embraced the error. [It would have been good to point this out directly to them, but their contact information is missing.]
Mischievious has no legitimate place in the English language, and its use cannot be justified. It is possible that it has arisen by confusion with the sound of words that do have the –vious ending, such as envious, previous, and devious.
Don’t be devious. Don’t indulge in the mischief of giving this word a third eye i. It has only two i’s like my mischievous monkey.
Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome. Are you aware of other words whose pronunciation is questionable? Ask here for clarification.
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