Peter Richardson prichard at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Jun 16 17:18:45 UTC 2000

Larry and dInIs and Larry's wife and all the rest are on the
money. Data appears to be the neuter plural of the past participle of
_dare_ 'to give'--meaning 'things given' or, as we used to milk it for all
it was worth back in high-school Latin, 'having-been-given things'. The
singular was -datum- (rhymes with "got 'em"), but no one cared to talk
about that.  On the other hand, U.S. and sentence geography could change
that pronunciation radically. Did anyone at Boston Latin School say
"dater" with hiatus-r, as in "These dater are screwy"?


On Fri, 16 Jun 2000, Dennis R. Preston wrote:

> Larry,
> I was bout to point out that my Latin would produce "data" (rhymes with
> "crocka"), but I figgered my Hillbilly Latin might not be trusted. Now
> we've got your word on it.
> dInIs
> >Besides /daet@/ and /deyt@/, there's the less frequent /daht@/ (rhyming
> >with "lotta", "what a", or "terracotta"), which my wife, a non-Trekkie and
> >non-techie, uses.  I imagine that it may actually be closer to the original
> >Latin than /daeta/ is, although that's not why she uses it.
> >
> >larry
> 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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