hard words on TV! Part deux

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu May 10 16:47:01 UTC 2007

It seems to me a news anchor on national TV should have no doubt about the meaning and/or an acceptable pronunciation of "species." It was impossible to tell what the issue was. Carlson said "speeshees" each time."

I say "speeshees," but "speecees" sounds OK too.

Anchors sometimes refer to a single "specie."


sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM> wrote: ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society
Poster:       sagehen
Subject:      Re: hard words on TV! Part deux

>This is one of those words that I'm not really sure how I "usually" pronounce.
>It's probably [spi:Si:z] half the time and [spi:si:z] the other half. It might
>be the other way around.
>M-W lists both. The OED lists two pronunciations but not these two. It only
>lists the 'sh' middle consonant. Its alternation is the final vowel/diphthong.
>Either [spi:Si:z] or [spi:SIi:z]. Is the latter a two syllable pronunciation?
>Any other words that would have the [-Ii-] diphthong?
>Michael Covarrubias
>Quoting Jonathan Lighter :
>> GRETCHEN CARLSON: They're the only ones of their species - is it
>> "speeshees"?...
>> BRIAN KILMEADE: "Speeshees."
Am I missing something here?  I say "Speeshees, "  as do most of the
scientists I know.
The mistake to which this word is most susceptible seems to be assuming it
to be the plural of the singular "specie."
AM, the still older coot (/Fulica americana/).

~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>   ~@:>

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