Epitome is one of those words that I’d read but never heard (like genre) so I pronounced wrong for ages.. just like the title eh-peh-tohm… not ih-pit-uh-mee. I mean, how was I supposed to get ih-pit–uh-mee from those letters by just reading them? That’s not how English works. If there’s an /e/ at the end, then the vowel before the preceding consonant is usually long, right? so tohm. and pit is pit but the /t/ was for tohm so peh and eh because ee peh tohm would have sounded silly.
It’s also one of those words I had to figure out what it meant by the context of the sentence because we didn’t have the internet back then, nor did we have the handy dictionary feature of ebook readers (which I LOVE by the way), and I didn’t have access to a dictionary at the time. So I kinda/sorta knew what it meant, but missed the mark by a fraction. “She was the epitome of grace and style” was the sentence — or something close to it, then it went on to describe her grace and style. So I though it meant something like “top” or “best”.
But there are a lot of words out there like epitome that I learned later I was saying wrong because I’d read them and never heard them. But that’s okay. At least I knew of them. And that’s kind of what counts, right? ^_^