If you are one of those people who have a difficult time preventing your jaw, lips, tongue and throat from turning the two-syllable word ‘jaguar’ into a harrowing, three-syllable vocal adventure, then I don’t have to tell you that you’re one of those people. In fact, just reading the title of this post may have caused you to break out in a cold sweat at the thought of saying ‘jaguar’ in public. Well you are not alone.
Not only are there a lot of people who have difficulty pronouncing ‘jaguar’ as a two-syllable word, that includes sports announcers who are ostensibly paid to speak clearly. Given that those announcers probably threw everything they could at their own struggle, you would be forgiven for thinking the problem can’t be solved. On the contrary, however, I think most people can make progress by following a few simple steps.
That said, in the scheme of things this is obviously a trivial issue, and if you don’t care how you pronounce ‘jaguar’ then you shouldn’t let anyone else tell you you’re doing it wrong. Not only is there no stigma, but some of the variants I have heard over the years have been quite charming. If how you say ‘jaguar’ does bother you, however, please read on. [ Read more ]