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Re: Re: phonetic pronunciation

Edmundas et al -- Steve has it about right. And I empathize with you. I
cringe when I hear HONORABILE pronounced as rhyming with Oldsmobile. How did
it come to be this way? The answer, as with so many other of the less
pleasant aspects of our society, can be summed up in one word: lawyers.
Latin, in America, is still used mostly in three fields: the law, medicine,
and science other than medicine(chiefly botanical), and mostly by people who
have never studied Latin, or at least not seriously. We needn't worry much
about doctors, because they seldom attempt to say anything in Latin, and
what they write is discipherable only by pharmacists, so the harm isn't
spread. Lawyers, on the other hand, sling Latin around left and right,
demanding habeus (hay-bee-us) corpus, declaring things to be in extremis
(ex-tree-mis) and adjourning sine die (sign-ee dye). Botanists, generally
unpretentious folks who say "dusty miller" rather than centaurea cineraria,
have nevertheless picked up (probably from lawyers) the grating habit of
putting a hard "i" on the end of any Latin term in the possessive, such as
Phlox drummondi (phlox drummond-eye). Archaeologists do the same., and
probably for the same reason. (There have been lawyers longer than there
have been archaeologists.) You cite your experience in England, Edmundas,
and say that you wonder how it is here. It's bad enough, but probably worse
in England. They've had lawyers longer than we have. - Griff

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve" <steve@familyszabo.com>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 6:13 PM
Subject: RE: [iris] Re: phonetic pronunciation

> Linda, et al.,
> The rule in pronouncing Latin binomials (really a misnomer, because
> scientific names are a mixture primarily of Latin, Greek, and local
> languages with a certain set of suffixes appended) is he who says it first
> and loudest has the correct pronunciation. <G>
> \\Steve//
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-iris@hort.net [mailto:owner-iris@hort.net]On Behalf Of Linda
> Mann
> Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 5:41 PM
> To: iris- talk
> Subject: [iris] Re: phonetic pronunciation
> Edmundas, I can hardly wait to read Bill Burleson's reply to this one
> <g>
> Pronunciation varies a lot in this country - I have a hard time
> understanding what plant some nursery people are describing also.  Not
> only strange rules of pronunciation, but added or missing syllables.
> If there is a 'rule' for pronouncing Latin binomials in this country, I
> don't think many people have agreed to follow it. <g>
> But your comment sheds some light on some of the differences I've heard
> among educated people (PhDs) - some probably learned from the English,
> others follow Latin.
> <When visiting in England I was shocked hearing that there Latin
>                    binominals of plants are pronounced not as in Latin
> language, but
>                    according rules of English language. First time I
> could not understand
>                    what I am told. It is interesting how is in your
> country?
>                    Best regards,
>                    Edmundas Kondratas
> mailto:konde@delfi.lt>
> --
> Linda Mann east Tennessee USA zone 7/8
> East Tennessee Iris Society <http://www.korrnet.org/etis>
> American Iris Society web site <http://www.irises.org>
> talk archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-talk/>
> photos archives: <http://www.hort.net/lists/iris-photos/>
> online R&I <http://www.irisregister.com>
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