We all have a store of words that we come across again and again as we read, but we never actually hear spoken. So we then either:
a) have a moment of surprise when we hear it for the first time…
b) hear it spoken aloud, but never associate that sound with its spelling, thinking of them as two separate words (this was the case for me with the word epitome for a long time), or…
c) we go our whole lives never hearing them.
Here are some of the most common words people have this struggle with:
awry (I heard people talk about things going awry all the time, but would read this word awry, as in jAW and REAl)
misled (like awry, I was quite familiar with this word from hearing it, but always read it as though it sounded like my-zelled. I assumed it to be an adjective meaning made miserable, which actually usually fit the context)
I’m a strong believer in the value of reading, but sadly in terms of pronunciation it can’t help so much. At least now we can check YouTube for the pronunciation of words we have doubts about. But then if we don’t know we’re mispronouncing it, we’re probably not going to look it up, are we?