Neil Jones Neil at
Mon Mar 30 18:55:07 EST 1998

In message <Pine.OSF.3.96.980330100718.31218B-100000 at> fnkwp at writes:
> 	I have not seen an 'official' guide to the pronunciation of butter-
> fly scientific names, although Comstock's book 'How to Know the Butterflies'
> (1943) provides a partial guide by indicating which syllable (or syllables)
> is (are) accented. However, even if there were one in the U.S., I fear it
> would fail to work internationally. I spent some time in the field many
> years ago with Dr. Olavi Sotavalta from Oulu, Finland--and he informed me
> that in Europe people learned to pronounce Latin _correctly_, the way the
> ancient Romans spoke it. And the way he pronounced scientific names was
> like nothing I have ever heard at any Lep. Soc. meeting.  :-)
> 							Ken Philip
> fnkwp at

I have heard different pronounciations between people from different 
areas. Of course where I live it is complicated because we have
two very different languages anyway. I have a tendency to sometimes
pronounce Rhododendron with an unvoiced "Rh" sound as a result.
We all pronounce the common names differently. I once knew someone who
would talk of "Blehws" instead of "Blues", and I myself have
great difficulty pronouncing Fritillary the American way.
We say Fri-TILL-uhry not Fritill-ERY. Perhaps we are indeed as
Winston Churchill once said, "Two nations divided by a common tongue". 

My advice is don't worry about the Latin pronounciation, after all we should
really say Kaisar and Kikero. Latin was probably pronounced differently
in different parts of the empire and they used different words more commonly.
This is why we have Bom dia, Buenos Dies, and Bon Dia in Portuguese, Spanish
and Catalan and Buongiorno, Bon Jorn and Bon Jour in Italian, Occitan and

Neil Jones- Neil at
"At some point I had to stand up and be counted. Who speaks for the
butterflies?" Andrew Lees - The quotation on his memorial at Crymlyn Bog
National Nature Reserve

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