More info on my version of the problem, which I was able to fix by removing the <s>s.
With this RegEx in the editor,
Pronounciation: <s> $1 $2 <s>
when I tried to test this phrase,
there were words like iPod and eBay . . .
Paul (but not Kate) would say:
"there was words like iPod and eBay".
For me, the fix was getting rid of the leading and trailing <s>'s.
As an aside, it only occurred when the word preceding "were" starts with a "th".
I'm using the newest version of the Neo voices.