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My brother always says that I can never do anything right. It looks like I've proven his point for him once again... I tried to create some IPA pronunciation guides, but I managed to put the letters in the wrong order and now they don't make any sense. Augh!

Can you help me put the letters back in the correct order? Do you think my brother is right?

  1. diːɹɪŋ
  2. ɜːdbɪ
  3. kʰɪdʒbɹæm
  4. lɛstgaʊtʃə
  5. mædhɜː
  6. ɹɪntʃwiːg
  7. sɛltʃeɪtə
  8. stɔːwɛtʃə
  9. θaʊmpaɪl
  10. wɪkwɔː
  11. wɪntʃɔː
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The words seem to be

ɹiːdɪŋ Reading
dɜːbɪ Derby
kʰæmbɹɪdʒ Cambridge
glaʊtʃɛstə Gloucester (suggested by WAF)
dɜːhæm Durham
gɹiːnwɪtʃ Greenwich
leɪtʃɛstə Leicester
wɔːtʃɛstə Worcester (suggested by WAF)
plaɪmaʊθ Plymouth
wɔːwɪk Warwick
nɔːwɪtʃ Norwich

and they are all

Cities in the United Kingdom containing universities

Can you do anything right?

All of the names are mispronounced, as M. Oehm points out.
The correct pronunciations are (all taken from Wikipedia, but adjusted to match the non-rhotic British accent given in the mispronunciations):
ɹɛdɪŋ
dɑːbɪ
kʰeɪmbrɪdʒ
ɡlɒstə
dʌɹəm
ɡɹɛnɪtʃ
lɛstə
wʊstə
plɪməθ
wɒɹɪk
nɒɹɪdʒ

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Aaargh, didn't get the last one. (I think the two question-marked ones have one t too many and one s too few.) And I think the gimmick is that they're all /mɪsprəˈnaʊnst/. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Oct 28 '18 at 17:46
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think the question mark ones should just be rot13(tynʊgʃɛfgə) and rot13(jɔːgʃɛfgə) without the rot13(fuver). Not the greatest application for my first use of rot13. $\endgroup$ – WAF Oct 28 '18 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ @MOehm I'm not British, so it seems that I missed the joke. I'll correct the answer with your insight $\endgroup$ – b a Oct 28 '18 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ Neither am I, but the given examples are somewhat notorious. (And WAF is certainly right; I thought that these two referred to the counties and thus would end with /ʃə/.) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Oct 28 '18 at 19:06
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    $\begingroup$ How did you solve this... I was two hours into a Python program, and decided there were much better uses of my time :-p $\endgroup$ – Parseltongue Oct 28 '18 at 23:04

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