You know what really irks me? All the silent letters in the English language. I was in college, working as a Writing Center consultant. I was really good at my job. Several people even told me so. Each session, I felt confident and smart...until I read a student's essay that for some cruel reason mentioned the Mojave Desert. I'm ashamed to admit that I pronounced it as Moh-jave. Want to know the sad part? I wasn't even aware that I had pronounced it wrong until the student politely (THANKFULLY!!) corrected me (pronounced Moh-hah-vee, just in case anyone's as apparently uneducated as me!)! I was horrified, humiliated, and cut down to the size of an ant's eye (they do have eyes, right?). Darned those killer silent letters!!
My co-workers and I often joked about silent letters, and for a semester, my nick-name was Roger (pronounced, of course, Ah-jer, because the R was silent). Who came up with that rule, anyway?