James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Mon Jun 24 00:39:25 UTC 2002

In a message dated 06/23/2002 4:33:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
r.sussex at MAILBOX.UQ.EDU.AU writes:

> I am trying to check if the root/raut pronunciation or "route" lines
>  up with the Mason-Dixon Line. Is this correct?

I habitually say /raut/ for the noun, even in "rout 66".  I was born and
raised in Louisville, Kentucky.  However, I always pronounce "wash" as
/warsh/, rhyming with "harsh".

My daughter, born and raised here in South Jersey, says /root/ and had to
stop and think before remembering that some people said /raut/.  (She also
says /wash/).

My wife, born and raised in Detroit (with summers in adjacent Canada) says
/raut/ for both noun and verb "route", /reraut/ for "reroute", and /wash/.

I think that many /root/-sayers will say /raut/ for the verb, perhaps to
avoid confusion with the verb "to root".  My daughter says that it sounds
wrong to her ear to use "route" (either pronunciation) as a verb, but she
does admit to the existence of a verb reroute, which she pronounces /reroot/
and I pronounce /reraut/.

Be careful with referring to the "Mason-Dixon Line" which in reality was the
border between Maryland and Pennsylvania.  Here in South Jersey (near
Atlantic City) we are south of that line, were it extended eastward, and
extended westward the line would run somewhere close to Indianapolis.

There is a carpenter's tool known as a "router" which in my experience is
always pronounced /rauter/.  Perhaps this is to avoid confusion with a
Rotorooter.  I wonder if the message-switching computer was phonetically
named after the carpenter's tool.

At the FAA Tech Center, I work with "en-route" systems (as opposed to
"terminal" systems, which deal with takeoffs and landings).  Everybody at
work calls it /enroot/.  An obvious suggestion is that the French spelling
inspired a French pronunciation.

      James A. Landau
      systems engineer
      FAA Tech Center (ACB-510/BCI)
     Atlantic City Airport NJ 08405 USA

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