Advertise here with Carbon Ads

This site is made possible by member support. ❤️

Big thanks to Arcustech for hosting the site and offering amazing tech support.

When you buy through links on, I may earn an affiliate commission. Thanks for supporting the site! home of fine hypertext products since 1998.

🍔  💀  📸  😭  🕳️  🤠  🎬  🥔

American English “invisible letters” include the t in pizza, the r in colonel, and the extra b in cummerbund. Maybe this is a Midwestern thing, but I recently noticed that I add an l to both: bolth. (My daughter does it too but not my son.)

Discussion  13 comments

Rex Sorgatz

Not exactly the same, but has anyone else noticed that people tend to pronounce Ozempic with a hard B instead of a P?

Matt G

Not exactly invisible, but the way better is pronounced with d's instead of t's. It's more like edda than bet-ter.

Nello L Edited

Still better than French.

(Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to include a very funny image that expresses this sentiment better than this text.)

Matt G

I know French has the reputation for dropping half the word, but we actually do that a lot in conversational English, too. Really pay attention to how we blend words and phrases together when casually talking with someone.

Reply in this thread

Mike Riley

My mother (who is mid-80's) has a ton of EXTRA letters in her pronunciation, hundrett (hundred), mehlk (milk), cousin't (cousin). I have no idea where her goofy pronunciation came from other than we are all from the mid-west (Wisconsin, go Badgers!).

David Nir

FWIW, I pronounce very few of these invisible letters (I'm from NYC if that makes a difference), except for words with only a single agreed-upon pronunciation, like colonel or pizza.

A lot of the words mentioned in that thread surprise me, though. The other night on Jeopardy, a contestant pronounced it "ReesIE's Peanut Butter Cups" and I was like, "Wait, what?" Also "ClemPson"—not one I'd heard before.

Megan Wills

Honestly, this just sounds like a really annoying NYT Connections category.....

Martin Sinclair

A good friend pointed out that “orange juice” is rarely that, it’s usually “oranch juice”. Our theory was that the softer ending of orange paired with the start of juice was too inefficient to pronounce. The harder “ch” sound made it all easier.

Ryan Nee

That reminded me of the delightful spelling of food items in this meme:

Reply in this thread

Thorin Messer

Both of my grandfathers (one from Iowa and one from Kentucky) used to say "warsh" for "wash". The federal goverment is in Warshington.

Jason KottkeMOD

Oh yeah, this is a good one. I had relatives in MN and WI who said warsh.

James Landis

In Oklahoma, you can hear "r" in wash, business is bidniss, and sometimes there's a little r in oil: the earl bidniss.

Sometimes you hear letters reversed. "Aks" for "ask". It's interesting how language is tied to race and status. Saying "aks" for "ask" is low status, but it's standard to say "iorn" for "iron". If you pronounce "iron" and "salmon" the way they're spelled, you won't sound like a native speaker.

Reply in this thread

Colter Mccorkindale

My mom still adds an R to "Washington" (Warshington).

Hello! In order to leave a comment, you need to be a current member. If you'd like to sign up for a membership to support the site and join the conversation, you can explore your options here.

Existing members can sign in here. If you're a former member, you can renew your membership.

Note: If you are a member and tried to log in, it didn't work, and now you're stuck in a neverending login loop of death, try disabling any ad blockers or extensions that you have installed on your browser...sometimes they can interfere with the Memberful links. Still having trouble? Email me!