Hi, it’s Maggie here from Speak More Clearly!

This time, I’d like to go through five multi-syllabic words Russell Brand often uses, and how to pronounce them.


Who is Russell Brand?

Russell Brand, the enigmatic British comedian, actor… and social commentator is known for his quick wit, flamboyant persona, and remarkable command of the English language.

In this video, we will explore five of the multi-syllabic words that Russell Brand uses regularly, shedding light on their meanings and how to pronounce them with a standard British accent.


Learn 5 multi-syllabic words Russell Brand often uses:

1.  Serendipity  /ˌser.ənˈdɪp.ə.ti/

Meaning: Derived from the ancient Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip, the word refers to the occurrence of fortunate events or discoveries by chance. Russell Brand frequently employs this word to highlight the unexpected and often comical twists of fate that life throws our way.

Practise with us: The main stress syllable is the dip syllable. The second ‘e’ and the second ‘i’ are said as the de-stressed vowel, the schwa vowel. Not seren, but seren. Not dippy, but dipper.

Example: There is a real element of serendipity in archaeology.


2. Paradoxical  /ˌpær.əˈdɒk.sɪ.kəl/

Meaning: This multisyllabic word means contradictory or seemingly absurd situations. Seemingly impossible or difficult to understand because of containing two opposite facts or characteristics.

Practise with us: The doc syllable is the main stress syllable, as you can see because it has the apostrophe before it in the phonetic spelling. Note where the de-stressed vowels are as well. This is where you see the schwa. We have video and audio training on how to say and use the schwa vowel in our British accent course.

Example: It seems paradoxical to me, but if you drink a cup of hot tea, it seems to cool you down.


3. Exacerbate  /ɪɡˈzæs.ə.beɪt/

Meaning. In his passionate monologues and political commentary, Russell Brand often employs the word exacerbate to convey the idea of making a problem or situation worse.

Practise with us: The /za/ syllable is the main stressed syllable. Notice that the /x/ is saying /gz/ in this word, like in the words exit and exaggerate.

Example: His allergies were exacerbated by the dust.


4. Proliferation

Meaning: This multi-syllabic term refers to the rapid and widespread growth or increase of something’s proliferation.

Practise with us: The main stress syllable is the ‘a’ syllable. The ‘a’ is saying the dip, thong vowel, ‘a’ as in rain here. Make sure you don’t cut the ‘a’ short. This diphthong, two vowels said together, is made from the /eh/ and /ih/ vowels said together.

You can easily learn how to say the diphthong and triphthong vowels in English in our British Accent course so that you are understood the first time you say something. Also, note that the word proliferation has three schwa vowels in it.

Example: The proliferation of social media platforms has meant people can constantly be in touch in a variety of ways.


5. Discombobulate

Meaning: Adding a touch of whimsy to his language, Russell Brand skillfully incorporates the word discombobulate into his comedic repertoire. This playful term refers to a state of confusion or disarray.

Practise with us: Not an easy word to say but it is a fun word. The main stress syllable is /bob/. Make sure you use the British ‘o’ in /bob/. Also, pay attention to the intrusive /y/ sound after the second /b/ in /bob/. It becomes /bobby/.

The ‘u’ vowel becomes a schwa. Let’s say the word twice.

Example: She felt discombobulated after travelling across three time zones in one day.


Through his use of multi-syllabic words, Brand captivates his audience, provokes their thoughts, and challenges societal norms. We hope you found this video informative, so you can use them in your daily conversations.

It’s very important you learn to hear and use these most common of English vowels in order to say multi-syllabic words with the correct English rhythm and stress.

This serves as a reminder that words have the power to entertain, educate and inspire, leaving us with a richer understanding of the world around us. Let these multi-syllabic words ignite your curiosity and love for the English language.

Make clear English pronunciation work for you. When dealing with difficult words to pronounce in a British, Australian or American accent, we hope you find our videos helpful. To learn more about our English pronunciation and accent courses, click here.

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