Does pronunciation matter?

Recently I was watching a video of our Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, speaking about women’s suffrage.

But she didn’t pronounce ‘women’ correctly. Repeatedly.

And that bothered me.

“Surely, our Prime Minister should be able to pronounce ‘women’ correctly?” is what I was thinking. And that dominated my thoughts, not her message.

Am I being unfair? Are my expectations too high?


But that got me thinking, that whether I’m being unfair or not, this is a great reminder that perception matters.

I believe in the correct use of grammar and the correct pronunciation of words. You’ll never lose by doing it right. But you will lose to a section of the audience if you don’t.

BTW It’s pronounced wimin, not wumen.