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  • Writer's pictureDavid Nagai

Shameful English Mistakes

Updated: May 21, 2021

Mispronouncing certain words will make you seem disrespectful, impolite, or just plain ignorant. It might make everyone laugh at you, or you may offend someone and cause problems in the relationship. For example...

Party vs. Potty

Potty means toilet, or to go to the toilet.

Sit/seat vs. Shit City vs. Shitty

Shit as a noun means human waste/excrement/feces/poop. Shit as a verb means to go to the toilet to go “number two”. Shit or shitty as an adjective means something is extremely bad quality.

Bad example sentences:

“Welcome to the potty. Please relax and take a shit!”

“Do you mind if I shit next to you?”

“Do you want to come with me to a private potty tonight?”

“John told me you’re a shitty council member.”

“This is your pilot speaking. We are experiencing turbulence. Please return to your shits and fasten your shitbelts.”

“I had so many great conversations with strangers at the potty.”

“Is there a dress code for the potty?”

“I danced for a while at the potty, but I got tired so I took a shit for a while and enjoyed a drink and good conversation.”

“Yokohama is such a beautiful shitty!”

“Welcome to our shitty! How do you like the potty so far?

As you can see, there are endless ways to embarrass yourself with pronunciation. Many of my students can pronounce these words correctly, but if they get lazy about pronunciation, they start saying words incorrectly.

So here’s my advice:

Be intentional about enunciating clearly. Be careful with the "R" and "S" sounds. Practice the words that are most sensitive, such as “party” and “sit”. Ask a native English-speaker to help you pronounce the words accurately. Then, when you attend a party or invite your client to take a seat, everyone will experience respect instead of shame and embarrassment.

Do you know someone who might make these mistakes? Feel free to share this blog post with them. They might thank you later!


Want to connect with the changing world in English?

online or in Yokohama-Motomachi

to expand your:

creative thinking

global awareness

cross-cultural communication

(Advanced and intermediate only)

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