Was: distinguished alum

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Thu May 7 16:03:48 UTC 2009

On the History Channel several months ago there was a program on the Battle of Thermopylae.  Around half the historians/participants pronounced Thermopylae ending with IPA [ei], the others with IPA [ai].

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

--- On Thu, 5/7/09, David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET> wrote:

> From: David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET>
> Subject: Re: distinguished alum
> Date: Thursday, May 7, 2009, 7:32 AM
> From:    Barbara Need <bhneed at GMAIL.COM>
> > On 5 May 2009, at 7:46 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >> And I really doubt that the average non-classicist
> has any concept of
> >> the the distinction in either meaning or
> pronunciation between -I and
> >> -AE or the meaning of the nueuter plural, -A.
> > Wilson,
> > In my experience, non-classicists consistently use
> [aI] for alumni and
> > [i] for alumnae.
> I've generally heard [e] for alumnae, except for a few
> times that i've
> heard [aI] for what was probably that word. (It's hard
> to tell, because
> if someone has [aI] for both alumni and alumnae, of course,
> you can't be
> certain which they're intending unless you have the
> opportunity to ask
> them.)
> For my part, [aI] for alumnae seems quite natural, since my
> high school
> Latin taught me that puella, puellae is puell[*],
> puell[aI]. (Never
> claimed my high school Latin was perfectly correct, of
> course, but then
> again, what high school Latin is?)
> --
> David Bowie                               University of
> Central Florida
>     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no
> chocolate in the
>     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If
> there is
>     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be
> consumed.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
> http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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