Annunciation vs enunciation

Annunciation and enunciation are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. Confusables is a catch-all term for words that are often misused or confused; there are many confusing words in the English language that may be easily confused for each other in spoken English and written English. Two words or more than two words, even if they are common words, may be confused because they are similar in spelling, similar in pronunciation, or similar in meaning. These commonly confused words may be pronounced the same way or pronounced differently or may be spelled the same way or spelled differently, or may have different meanings or have almost different meanings; they may be homophones, homonyms, heteronyms, homographs, words that have a similar spelling, or words that have a similar meaning. Sometimes, confusables are word constructions that are not proper English words. Confusables often confound native speakers of English, and they may be difficult for ESL students and those learning English to understand. Confusables are misspelled, misused words that have a different meaning from one another and may be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, or any other part of speech. Spelling rules in English are not dependable; there are many exceptions. Often, the best procedure to learn new words and commonly misused words and commonly confused words in English is to make word lists of English words for the learner to study to understand the difference in spelling and meaning. To learn new words in the English language, one must not only study a spelling words list, one must know the meaning of words in one’s vocabulary word list. It is also helpful to memorize how to correctly pronounce words and to know the etymology of new words or where they are derived from. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell and learn the definitions of words. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a confusable in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Confusables are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables annunciation and enunciation, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Annunciation means the act of announcing something or making an announcement. The Annunciation, spelled with a capital A, refers to the event where the archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was pregnant with Jesus; the feast day, also known as Lady Day, is March 25. Annunciation is rarely used in a generic context; the word announcement is much more common. The word annunciation is derived from the Old French word, anonciacion, which means news or an announcement. Related words are announce, announces, announced, announcing, announcement.

Enunciation is the act of pronouncing something clearly or proclaiming something plainly and distinctly. The word enunciation is derived from the Latin word, enuntiationem, which means a declaration. Related words are enunciate, enunciates, enunciated, enunciating.


It was the holiest object in Old Testament Israel and when Luke tells the story of the Annunciation, he carefully records language meant to link Mary to it. (Catholic Weekly)

Many houses were left without electricity and water for days, while the Annunciation (Evangelismos) Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Houston, where the first Greek church in the area was built 108 years ago, also sustained damage. (National Herald)

But in pronouncing that short sentence, my enunciation was so done with such gusto that I accidentally blew the candle out. (Orange County Tribune)

Students will be instructed and trained to understand the relationship between sounds and spellings, and more importantly, the difference in pronunciation and enunciation of words and phrases. (Tribune India)

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