Not the Same: Mistaken Homophones Part Two

Correct pronunciation can often mean the difference between getting what you want and not.

Recently, I posted about how the words “hobby” and “happy” confuse many students because of the way an error in pronunciation of the /p/can make them sound similar. Here is another seasonal example.

a beach bonfire

In summer, many people go camping or go to the beach. At night, they make a camp fire or a bonfire. A favorite American dessert to make and eat by the fire is called a s’more. A s’more is made from marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate. It is fun to make and VERY sweet!

First, you find a long straight stick. Next, you roast a marshmallow until it is lightly browned. You put the hot marshmallow on a graham cracker with a piece of chocolate. The chocolate melts. You end up with a melted chocolate, marshmallow sandwich called a s’more.

roasting marshmallows for s’mores

The finished s’more looks like this.

Recently, Starbucks created a new flavor for its coffee drinks based on this dessert.


A small coffee, or s’more coffee?

Some students complained because when they tried to order a “s’more coffee,” they were handed a “small coffee.” The problem was how they were pronouncing their final /r/.

If your lips are too loose, the /r/ will sound like an /l/. You need to tighten your upper lips, making them hug your teeth. To practice, say the word “or” while doing this. This should help you pronounce the word s’more and erase the confusion. If all else fails, write your order on a napkin, or point to what you want!

Good Luck!