Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Fri Jun 16 15:12:34 UTC 2000


Although I'm not a big fan of pop culture influences on the really
important stuff of language, individual shows may have been the death (or
awakening) knell for the rendition of some lexical items. I don't doubt the
Mr. Data influence of Star Trek on "data," and us older folks will surely
remember that our "Your-Anus" joke days (for the planet) werre over after
Carl Sagan (on "Cosmos") taught us to say "Urinous," and by then we were
too old to make pee-pee jokes.


>>         I'm a /deyt@/ user myself, but my mother told me this came up on
>>"Who Wants to Be a Millionnaire" tonight, and the "correct" answer was
>>given as /deyt@/, whereas she said she uses /daet@/, much to my surprise.
>Being a pedant, I use /daet@/ because this is what I was told it is in Latin.
>If there is variation in the word, can there be a "correct"
>pronunciation, even if one has prescriptivist tendencies?  Or is this
>just another problem with "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"?
>>There's a local software company here in Tucson which calls itself Beta
>>Data. I've heard the /ae/ so rarely that it must be a declining minority
>>usage (in the US, not Britain).
>I can't take an informal survey.  Everybody I know has been
>influenced (contaminated?) by Star Trek.
>Aaron E. Drews                               The University of Edinburgh
>      Departments of English Language and
>aaron at                    Theoretical & Applied Linguistics
>        --Death

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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