Okay, I have no clue how to read pronunciation guides. Maybe I learned how in grade school, but that information is not in my brain anymore. This means that when I look up a word and I’m curious how to pronounce it, I see “ŋædaʊʒð” which doesn’t help me at all. Well, I made that one up, but even if you look up the word “banana” the pronunciation key is “bə-ˈna-nə” which I can’t imagine clearing anything up.

That’s why I always need the idiot phonetic spelling, or even better, pressing a button to have someone read it to me. Totally unambiguous, except in the case of words with multiple pronunciations. Those can go screw themselves. That’s right, I’m talking to you, “data” and “caribbean,” come back when you’ve made up your damned mind.