Well I am sitting here eating my lunch (a giant portion of glorified cabbage, which I adore) and finding out how to pronounce things.
This all came about because in my Bible study this morning, Kay Arthur used the word diaspora, putting the emphasis on the second syllable. Since I had always put the accent on the first and third, it had been bugging me all morning.
So went to Wiktionary…no dice. They don’t care about pronunciation, I guess. I’m never going back there! Dictionary.com however, was excellent–they actually have audio pronunciations for everything, I think. Sure enough, Kay was right, and I now wonder how many times I have used that word…not many, surely. Oh, well.
And that reminded me of diastasis, which I have always avoided saying since I have no clue and didn’t want to look dumb. It is indeed di-AS-tuh-sis, as I suspected. Oh, good, now I can talk about mine.
Which led me to remember a few differences of pronunciation I’ve had with a good friend of mine who also likes words. She calls the pretty orange-checked butterflies fri-TILL-aries, while I have always said FRIT-illary. And when we talk about science curriculum, she uses Ap-o-LO-gia, while I say Apolo-GEE-uh.
I wasn’t really very sure about the fritillary, but Dictionary.com agreed with me. Oh, yeah. But when I went to the entry of Apologia, which I was quite sure I was right about, can you believe they said it her way???? I checked with several other of the big name dictionaries (in the process finding http://www.onelook.com/ which is a great way to compare several dictionaries easily) and would you believe they all concurred? Since I’ve heard Jay Wile, the author of Apologia Science, speak at homeschool convention, I couldn’t believe it. So I called the company. Sure enough, she answered the phone “Apolo-GEE-uh.” So I was right. But it seems that maybe they were wrong?
Which leads to another one… Some friends of ours opened a store which they call The Mercantile–last syllable rhyming with FILE. My word-loving friend said it so that the last syllable rhymed with FEEL. Well, sure enough, she’s right on that one, too. Some of the dictionaries did have the long i sound as an option, but without fail the other was preferred. But the owners call it TILE, so MercanTILE it is. I guess that’s how language changes over time, isn’t it?
Since I was curious, I decided to check fritillary, and it seems that her way is the British preference. Aha! So we’re both right.
And if you’re still reading, you’re probably shaking your head and thinking, “This woman does not have enough to do!” Well….trust me, I do. I’m just not doing it. And my lunch is long finished, so I suppose I should go try to be productive.
I have an old friend who once told mournfully that she never knew how to pronunciate things, so this post is for her, I guess!