Accents in Am. English

Joseph McCollum prez234 at JUNO.COM
Fri Jun 16 06:28:46 UTC 2000

I've always said "fortay" -- and to me, the word is borrowed from Latin,
"a strong point," the neuter nominative of fortis.  Remember the Olympic
motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius."

Someone else had mentioned "data" -- On the TV show, Star Trek:  The Next
Generation, someone calls Data "Dat-ta" and he immediately corrects him
and he says his name is "Day-ta."  Of course, the classical Latin
pronunciation would be "Dat-ta" but as in "silo" a vowel on the end of an
Anglo-Saxon word can make the previous vowel long, "Day-ta."

So, would I be off the mark in saying that "Day-ta" is singular but
"Dat-ta" is plural?
We have an in-house editor who insists that data is always plural.  I've
always liked the expression:  "If you torture the data enough, it will
confess to anything."  (somehow "they will confess" doesn't carry quite
the same effect).  Then again, maybe it's like "Ham and eggs is my
favorite breakfast."

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