Has someone ever corrected your pronunciation? It's happened to me often enough, even in public. One of my embarrassments was due to the word examplar--I was answering a question in class, when I was in grad school, and I pronounced it with emphasis on the first and third syllables. My professor corrected me. (I would never do that.) Examplar is a bit uncommon but not all that obscure. The correct stress is on the second syllable, and it sounds very much like example, but with a short e and a different ending.
Fortunately, on the Internet no one knows you're
a dog mispronouncing a word. Otherwise, you'd hear me hesitate over words like heroine (is it really the same as the drug? I guess so), puerile (long i or not?), and other words I can't remember right now. If I have a hard time remembering how to pronounce some words, how do you expect me to remember what those those words are?
But I do remember a few, and it's not that I'm mispronouncing them exactly, it's more that there are so many acceptable pronunciations that it's hard to choose between them, and I get mixed up. Oddly enough, the words that comes most easily to mind all deal with food. Merriam Webster gives three ways to say basil, for example, none of them the same as the Swiss city of Basel. Cumin? Also three choices. Ditto turmeric, though I hardly see the need to drop the r. Whatev.
Speaking of Switzerland, which has German as one of its official languages, the years that I spent living in Germany have warped my pronunciation of English in some ways. Should I put on a German accent if I ever happen to say bratwurst, kindergarten, angst, doppelgänger, and so forth? These are pretty well-established words in English, but there's still the temptation. (It's worse than you might think. In Bavaria, wurst is often pronounced "voorsht", which I imagine can be taken as a mispronunciation--though I might be wrong, since it's a dialect thing--by some Germans.) And brand names... If we're talking about a Swedish furniture manufacturer, I'll probably say "ee-KAY-uh", and if we're talking about household appliances like electric shavers, it'll be "brown". I can't help it--it's automatic. Porsche seems to have two syllables in today's English, though I remember that it didn't always, and a lot of other pronunciations have evolved to match the originals: Deutsche (two syllables) and Neanderthal (with a t rather than th sound), for example. So I'm safe there. If you ever hear Germans use a word that sounds like "beemer", though, don't be fooled. They're not talking about a car or motorcycle, but an LCD projector.
There's a certain aspect of personal preference to all this. By analogy to BMWs, people who drive faster than me are maniacs, and people who drive slower than me are idiots. It's much the same with English pronunciation. For example, there's a list of commonly "mispronounced" words insisting that you pronounce the y sound in the middle of parliament, and that there's no such word as persnickety--the original Scots word is pernickety, without the s. That last is ironically apropos--those folks must be maniacs.
What words do you mispronunciate?