The discussion on pronunciation of words illustrates one of the great
strengths of English and helps to explain why it has grown to become a
world language. It is traditional for people speaking this language to
accept a wide range of pronunciations, including that of the "adopted"
Greek and Latin scientific words. French, on the other hand, has a very
low tolerance of variation, especially in France. I have worked and
travelled in over 90 countries and found that, after a few hours, the
ear tunes to the new sounds. If something really grates on the nerve,
it is usually poor grammer not a different way of speaking. One of my
greatest linguistic feats was to translate between some Iraqis and an
Air France stewardess in Paris where both parties were speaking English
but neither could understand the other. The reverse occurred in rural
West Virginia where the Assistant State Geologist, a friend of mine from
South Carolina, had to order the meals at the local cafe as the waitress
and I could not communicate. As it happened, there was only one thing on
the menu and it remained the same throughout the week!
Ian, in Ottawa where it remains about -6C and sunny and we should see
our first Iris danfordiae or reticulata in 6-8 weeks.