Fwd: retro "psych"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Apr 25 16:32:15 UTC 2005

>I take it these are/were always [saik] and not ['saiki], despite the
>(alternate) spelling?  The latter, in this context, would really be a
>surprise.  I've only ever heard it as [saik], whence the e-less
>spelling, just like the popular major.

I've seen the spelling with "-e" (can't remember where/when) but I've
always heard /sajk/ or so in speech.

My naive guess is that the rationale for the "-e" is that "ps-" is seen as
an alternative spelling for "s-" and "-ch" for "-k" and "y" for "i", so
"psyche" = "sike" /sajk/ while "psych" would represent "sik" /sIk/. Not
everyone 'analyzes' it this way, of course; in fact the majority (it seems
to me) would write "psych".

-- Doug Wilson

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