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COMP-so-NAITH-us?



Isn't the reason scientists use greek and latin for dinosaur names is so
they avoid the "how do we pronounce it?" problem, since the rules are set
and haven't changed? In general, I don't think pronunciation is very
important, but for the nit pickers out there, Donald J. Borror in his
"Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms" states:

"In words beginning with ...._gn_ .., the initial letter is not
pronounced, but when these letters appear together in the middle of a
word the first letter _is_ pronounced."  {emphasis in the original}

and

"When [g] is followed by 'a' ... it has the hard (k) sound."

So, the Omnipedia versions with the "g" {komp-SOG-na-thus or
KOMP-sog-NAY-thus} are closer to standard.  However, I didn't check to
see if the long "a" or short "a" after the "g" is standard!  I have to go
back and check Borror's book at work--I just jotted this much to bring
home to do!  

The only deviation from Borror's rule one would expect is:

1) if a language other than greek or latin were used in the name, and
thus the pronunciation rules of that language were followed
2) if a proper name was used and the person it was named after (or their
descendants) had a preferred pronunciation
3) if the person naming the dinosaur had their own preference and either
consciously or unconsciously ignored the standard rules.

Puh-TATE-toe? Poe-TAH-toe? That's my two-bits.

Judy Molnar
Education Associate
Virginia Living Museum
vlmed@juno.com
jamolnar@juno.com