Nothing can botch a big announcement like an unsuspecting, misused word. This is especially true in the case of announce and pronounce, two big words that denote declarative actions. They’re often used to precede statements of import, which require ethos to be effective, so it’s vital that these words are used properly to avoid any deductions on credibility. We’ll walk you through their definitions and the situations where these words should be used.
This confusion surrounding them arises from having a similar etymology: both pronounce and announce derive their definitions from the Latin root nuntiare, which means “to report.” Both words have several meanings and can be used transitively and intransitively, so be careful with their nuances.
To pronounce is “to declare officially, ceremoniously, authoritatively, or as an opinion.” This is often to enforce, empower, or paint something in a positive light, such as in “I hereby pronounce you as a knight under the service of the Queen” and “I pronounce The Devil Wears Prada as the best movie in the whole wide world.” As for its other use, it’s the more commonly known meaning: “to employ the organs of speech to produce words; especially, to say correctly.” For example, it would definitely help someone’s credibility if they pronounced words right.
Now when announcing something, it’s “to make it known publicly” or “to give notice of its arrival, presence, or readiness.” For the former, an example is “the faculty announced the names of the students who will represent the school at the national quiz bee.” As for the latter, “Sasha Velour’s arrival announced the beginning of a new era in the drag scene” will do.
Note that both words can be used transitively and intransitively with more or less the same definitions. Here are additional examples to demonstrate these functions:
Kareem arranged this evening with his relatives to announce his decision to go abroad.
Once she tastes these little culinary gems, the chef de cuisine of La Maison D’Etre will pronounce these mulberries as the best dessert ingredient in the region.
The throng of students walking to school with their book-filled backpacks announced the beginning of the school year.
Akeelah pronounced every word perfectly—an amazing feat considering nearly all her opponents failed to say the strange words correctly.
Brahms wanted to announce for the coming gala.
Vien trusted Carlota to pronounce for her during the defense.
The root word pro in pronounce makes differentiating the two much easier. Pro means “forward” or “for,” which corresponds with the first definition of pronounce, which is to declare officially. When you pronounce something, you are for it—you are putting it forward. While both pronounce and announce involve declaring, think of the former as a positive approach while the latter is neutral. And if you ever need another quick way to distinguish them, remember that when you pronounce a word, you have to do it properly.
That should be everything. Now it’s up to you if you want to announce this grammar breakthrough or to just show it off through effective and accurate use of these words (make sure you pronounce them correctly!). Just let us know if you have any more questions on grammar and writing, and we’ll answer as soon as we can. See you again soon!
Disclaimer: Image is not ours. Credit to the owner.