I think we all have stumbled over a word or two now and then:
So the martial arts school where I study has replaced a water wall, which really was more of a water on the floor by the wall in the brief period where it was operational, with a fish tank to which they’re slowly adding fish, and I mentioned that I knew a guy who had a saltwater tank and was raising anemone. Sea anemone, that is, not the terrestrial flower after which it is named.
One of the listeners made mock of my pronunciation of the word, which immediately made me self-conscious of my pronunciation.
Which, as it turns out, was correct all along:
The question was whether I was throwing an extra N in it. In my defense, I might have said “an anemone.”
But the problem wouldn’t have occurred in the first place if I’d said sea anemone, which is what I was talking about. But I know aquaria less than I know exotic words and how to use them.
If it’s any consolation, I’ve bungled some truly spectacular pronunciations in my day, and my mad spelling skillz didn’t help one bit.