Dr. James Adams jadams at
Mon Mar 30 14:25:23 EST 1998

Patti Ensor wrote:

> Since then I have searched for pronounciation guides and haven't found any.
> That's why when Anne Kilmer wrote (28 March), "What's worse, (people)
> pronounce the stuff differently..." . No one else seems to have commented on
> this.

As far as I know, there is not a specific book on pronunciation of 
lep names, or, for that matter on the names of any specific group of 
organisms.  What do exist are guides to pronunciation of Latin and 
Greek prefixes, suffixes, root words, etc.  Please be aware that a 
lot of scientific names are basically latinized bastardizations of 
other languages.  Some hard-liners are very strict and get upset with 
people if they do not pronounce and use such words/names correctly (I 
have a friend [interestingly enough an "old-timer", with no offense 
intended]who is this way).  I, for one, do not care.  I'm delighted 
when someone makes the attempt to learn the scientific names of 
organisms, and, even though they may not pronounce them the same way 
I do, rarely can pronunciations be screwed up to the point where the 
name is unrecognizable.  After all, the point of the spoken word is 
information transfer, and, even if the pronunciation is not the exact 
one another person uses, communication is still easily achieved.  I 
say give it your best shot.  For anyone who is offended by your 
attempt to use the scientific name without pronouncing it 
"correctly", . . . well, that's their problem not yours.   Cheers!!


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