Fwd: retro "psych"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 25 17:08:46 UTC 2005

>No tykes (or *tykies) that I know are so at ease with the Classics
>as to pronounce
>/ saik / hypercorrectly as / 'saiki /.  I have even seen it spelled
>"Sike!" by freshmen, to whom the observation similarly applies.

I'd be happy enough with the "sike" spelling, since it does seem to
have sufficiently branched off semantically from its psychological
roots.  Note that the "psyche" ['saiki] pronunciation wouldn't
necessarily entail familiarity with the Cupid and Psyche story,
lovely as it is (especially that bit with the hot candle wax), but
there are also the philosophical and psychiatric spinoffs.  I think
"psyche" in those senses is still consistently bisyllabified.

--Larry, now wondering if there's anyone out there who confuses
"psychic" with "sidekick"

>Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender: American Dialect Society
>Poster: Laurence Horn
>Subject: Re: Fwd: retro "psych"
>At 7:33 AM -0700 4/25/05, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>"Psych(e) !" was common among schoolkids in the '80s, according to
>>contemporary reports.
>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.

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