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Re: OT: pronunciation

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: OT: pronunciation
  • From: storey@aristotle.net (J. Michael, Celia or Ben Storey)
  • Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 08:33:49 -0700 (MST)

>I asked
>a friend who was a linguistics major why plant names are often
>pronounced in two different ways - CLEMatis and cleMAtis, for example,
>and she said the choice of pronunciation depends on whether you are
>treating the word as a foreign word in the language, in which case you
>give it its foreign (in this case, latin) pronunciation - cleMAtis.  If,
>however, you are treating the word as one which has been absorbed into
>the language you are speaking (english), then you pronounce it as you
>would any english word, moving the accent forward as we do in english -
>CLEMatis.  Interesting, huh?  Beth

Beth, thank you. the first time I went on garden tour with our local club,
I was teased for saying CleMAtis, which puzzled me, because that is how we
had always pronounced it in our family. Was my family all pretentious
sillies, I wondered? Now you set my mind at rest ... assuming there is a
similar excuse for why I grew up pronouncing cleome "klee-OH-may" rather
than the apparently more popular "KLEE-ohm" or "Klee-OH-me."

Little Rock, Arkansas, USDA Zone 7b
257 feet above sea level,
average rainfall about 50 inches (more than 60" in '97)
average relative humidity (at 6 a.m.) 84%.
moderate winters, hot summers ... but lots of seesaw action in all seasons

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