Common Architecture and Design Words You May Be Mispronouncing

"TO-MAY-TO, TO-MAH-TO" -

An expression meaning "unimportant differences" . . . 
but really . . .
which one is it?

Why does it matter?

Improper pronunciation can lead to negative impressions, and ineffective communication.  Whether in a professional setting or casual outing, pronouncing a word incorrectly can become the source of unforeseen embarrassment or misunderstanding.

You MIGHT be saying it wrong.

Certain vocabulary used in architecture and design can be tricky to pronounce.  Many of these words are derived from Latin, French, German, and Italian, making them difficult to articulate in other dialects.

Take a look at these commonly mispronounced words used in the industry, along with their meaning and approximate phonetic pronunciation.

Clerestory

[CLAIR-stor-ee]

 Raised section of a roof with small windows.

 

 

Foyer

[FOY-er]

Entry Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ipe

[EE-pay]

A kind of hardwood

 

Porte cochère

[port-co-CHER]

A covered entrance that allows vehicles to pass through.

 

Realtor

[REEL-tor]

A real-estate agent with the National Association of Realtors.

 

Masonry

[may-SEN-ry]

 Stonework

 

Wainscoting

[WAYNE-scot-ing]

Wood paneling on the lower part of a wall.

Pied-à-terre

[Pee-ay-dah-tear]

An apartment or condo that is not a primary residence.

 

Armoire

[Arm-waar]

A wardrobe or movable cabinet

 

 

 

 

Chaise Longue

[Shez-lawng]

A reclining chair with a lengthened seat

 

 

 

Faux Bois

[Foe-bwah]

An artistic imitation of wood

 

 

Etagere

[Ey-tah-zhair]

A piece of furniture with open shelves for displaying ornaments.

 

 

 

Feng shui

[fung shway]

Chinese philosophy on environmental organization.

 

 

 

Now, go impress the world with your impeccable pronunciation of architectural and design vocabulary.