How do you pronounce Omicron? It’s one of the most mispronounced words of 2021.


How do you pronounce Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant that has set off alarm bells worldwide and raised questions on vaccine effectiveness? 

According to Merriam Webster, Omicron is pronounced “OH-muh-kraan” or “AH-muh-kraan.” In British English, it’s “OH-my-kraan.”

The New Oxford English Dictionary, nevertheless, gives a distinct pronunciation, Dr. Andreas Willi, a comparative linguistics professor at Oxford University, informed The New York Times: “Namely slightly like an English phrase ‘o-MIKE-Ron,‘” he stated.  

The phrase made it onto this year’s checklist of most mispronounced words, as compiled by the U.S. Captioning Company, which captions and subtitles real-time occasions on TV and in courtrooms. 

The checklist, which was launched on Tuesday and was compiled by the language-learning platform Babbel, identifies the words that proved most difficult for newsreaders and other people on tv to pronounce this year.

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, Philadelphia Eagles heart Jason Kelce, and Dogecoin additionally made this year’s checklist, as did Ethereum and Chipotle. 

“Newscasters in the U.S. have struggled with 2021′s new words and names while reporting on key sporting events, viral internet trends and emerging celebrities,” stated Esteban Touma, a standup comic and trainer for Babbel Live.

“As a language teacher, it’s always interesting to see that some of these terms are usually new colloquialisms, or are rooted or borrowed from another language,” he stated. “As a non-native speaker, I must confess it’s fun to see English speakers stumbling a bit for a change.”

See the full checklist of the most mispronounced words right here.

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