Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Wed Dec 12 17:21:05 UTC 2001

Benjamin Fortson wrote:
>I was intrigued to discover this morning that the preferred pronunciation
>of the last syllable of "diabetes" in Amer. Heritage and Random House is
>-tis rather than -teez. In Webster's it's reversed; OED has only -teez.
>I always thought -tis was a regionalism; I heard it growing up in the South
>where it seemed to have the same status as "arthuritis" for arthritis. I am
>told it's also found in the Midwest. The word is not in DARE. Does anyone
>know if the -tis pronunciation is regionally restricted or not?

For what it's worth, I've seen the spelling "diabetis" fairly
regularly from certain posters on the usenet diabetes support groups.
I've never understood where this came from, as it's certainly not
something I've noticed here in the northeast. One particular poster,
who used to use this spelling *a lot* is a good enough writer that
the "mis-spelling" really stood out. She's lived in Alaska most of
her adult life, but, if I remember the autobiographical details she's
posted correctly, she grew up in Michigan (I'm not sure where).
Alice Faber                                             faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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