How do you say 'forte'?

How do you say ‘forte’?

Some things you learn too late in life.

The word “forte” is actually two words, but we generally pronounce it the wrong way. You probably hear it pronounced ˈfȯr-tē (or “for-tay”). Unless you’re talking about a piano, you should pronounce it just like “fort”.

When you mean your strong point

When you mean something is someone’s “strong point”, you’re actually using a word from French, and it’s one syllable. So, say it “fort”.

When you mean something loud

When you mean something loud or you’re actually using the full name of a piano, you say “fȯr-ˌtā” (or “for-tay”). That particular usage is Italian.

I can’t believe I didn’t know this. How many people will think I’m an idiot when I say it the “right” way, though?

Don’t believe me — check the dictionary.