As the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron has set alarm bells worldwide, it has also made its way to this year's list of most mispronounced words which is compiled by the U.S. Captioning Company.
The list released on Tuesday identifies the words that are proved most challenging for newsreaders and people on television to pronounce this year. The company said that it surveyed its members to come up with the list which was commissioned by Babbel, a language-learning platform headquartered in Berlin and New York.
Named after the Greek letter, the omicron variant is the 13th variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It has received a Greek designation under the World Health Organisation's (WHO) classification system for variants of interest or concern.
How Omicron got its name:
When the variant first came into the picture, it was called by the name of the country where it was first detected. But that's not the right way to say it, says Dr Waleed Javaid, a professor of infectious diseases and medicine and director of infection control at Mount Sinai hospitals in New York.
In May, WHO announced it would use a new system for naming variants to avoid confusion and stigmas to countries where the variants are first documented.
So, when this new variant came into the picture, WHO used the Greek alphabet to make it easier and more practical for nonscientific communities to discuss the variants.
Javaid said that calling variants by the names of countries might create unfair stigmas when the variants might not have originated in those countries and were first detected there.
It may be mentioned, the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa on November 24. Its first known infection was from samples collected on November 9.
How to pronounce Omicron:
Omicron can be pronounced as AH-muh-kraan or OH-mee-kraan. In the Greek language, Omicron is the 15th letter in the alphabets.