Stories from Miss Pronunciation


I hate to brag, unless I can do so in a manner that appears as if I am in fact being humble. It’s not easy, of course, but humility never is.


In my department at school, my ability to teach ELL students to “talk purty” has earned me the moniker, Miss Pronunciation.

Miss Pronunciation


Since it’s my first moniker, I naturally feel a bit of pride when I hear the other instructors call me that. Most of the time I can’t even mention that I have a moniker because that would be bragging, and as my husband’s mother used to say, “Pride stinks.”


To avoid even the hint of what I like to think of as verbal flatulence, I have to be discreet when I secretly but seemingly casually mention my colleague’s flattering opinion of me. Thankfully I am able to insert it into this post since there is a tenuous relationship between my moniker and the main point. Both concern pronunciation.


In a previous semester, I was the bridge instructor in a speech class for students whose first language is other than English. One of their assignments was a persuasive speech. Before the day of the speech, the students and I had time together to practice. One student chose the topic of young children and the negative effects of watching too much TV. While arguing for reduced screen time for small children, the student repeatedly looked straight at me and urged me to reduce scream time.


While looking through my notes, I was reminded of this good advice. So, for the next week or two, I plan to reduce scream time as much as possible. And I promise not to brag about it, unless I have to or can.



Rather large mouth courtesy of

20 thoughts on “Stories from Miss Pronunciation

  1. Congratulations on your moniker (although I think a pair of glasses would be more comfortable).
    Reminds me of when my young niece came to my sister and told her of something good that had happened to her. My sister said, “O, lucky you!” and Hope answered, “Yes, yucky me!”

  2. Love your pronunciation moniker. And do you, like Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby, also have a “society moniker”? LOVE that word….

  3. I wish you lived closer I could use your speech expertise. 23 years ago I married a military man. I gave notice at work and a look of horror awashed my boss’s face. He says Ruthie, honey, you will never get a job outside of the south. I was like, what? He said no one will understand a word you say. So he paid for me to take speech lessons not once but twice. Finally I told them all , that’s it. What is out is out, what’s left is Me and that will have to do. I still have a thick, thick southern accent. So much so that many think I am kidding when I talk. I am not sure if being neighbors could help me but it would be fun to try with a person I highly respect. 🙂

  4. winsomebella

    I think the world would be a far better place if we each made the effort to reduce scream time. Or at least change the pitch of it 🙂 You must be one heckuva teacher……..

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