What words are people fussy about pronouncing, in your experience?
I was once told to say S'n George for "St. George," not Saynt.
Eye-ther not Ee-ther for "either."
All-w'z not All-wayz for "always."
Ett not Ayt for "ate."
>implying the nature of words matters outside of the context of reading and writing
It's as clear as a bell most of the time.
Although "charades" is sh'-rawdz, not sh'-raydz.
And no L in "golf." It's pretty embarrassing to say since most don't recognise that pronunciation, so I just refer to it as "putting" to stay neutral. Or "that game."
When I was about eight or nine my cousin (same age) and I got into a serious fistfight over the pronunciation of "Technic." You know that game where you build machines and cars and stuff out of plastic gears and strut things? He said it was pronounced "Tech-nique" and I said it was pronounced "Tech-nick."
He knocked one of my teeth out. I still hate that asshole.