[Ads-l] "Alpha fee"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Aug 19 17:16:33 UTC 2015

"SIGMA XI", the scientific "fraternity" (no panty raids, toga parties, or date rape encouraged), pronounces its second name /zai/ as in "xylem".  I've heard /zai/ for other fraternities and sororities, but can't remember hearing "Alpha Xi" pronounced in the wild.


> On Aug 19, 2015, at 11:47 AM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
> Do we know what the organization's "preferred" pronunciation (officially or informally) is?
> With sorority/fraternity names or nicknames, "phi" pronounced to rhyme with "buy" does seem most common. However, among fraternities we have the nickname "FIJI," for Phi Gamma Delta, rhyming with "Fiji" (and thus occasionally provoking allegations of anti-Pacific-islander racism). 
> And the sorority Alpha Xi Delta pronounces itself "alpha zee delta."
> Charlie
> ________________________________________
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "Alpha fee"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Two staffers on tonight's "Inside Edition" pronounced the name of the soror=
> ity "Alpha Phi", now notorious for its bimbo recruiting video, as "fee".=C2=
> =A0 I and the OED say "fie".
> Joel
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