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COMP-sog-NATH-us?



To G S Paul: (and other interested parties)

I agree there is much flexibility in pronunciation.  Somewhere a long
time ago, I read [or was taught] that scientific names use _ancient_
Latin and Greek rules so that there would be a limit as to how much
deviation in pronunciation there could be.  Latin's a dead language any
way, so no new rules come into play, but Greek is still being spoken,
with a number of dialects.  How can one tell if a native Greek speaker
today is using the ancient rules of pronunciation or the more recent
rules of the speaker's home dialect? And how is one to know how much the
Greek rules have changed?

If it wasn't for Borror's book, I don't think I would 've even guessed
where to look up these rules.  I have also seen these rules outlined in
the handbooks given out by the local State Extension Agents when they
train Master Gardeners.  I don't know where their source of information
comes from, but I can ask some co-workers who took the course if I can
borrow the book and find out what it says about scientific name
pronunciation.  

By the way, Borror's rules don't clearly state whether that vowel after
the "g" in _Compsognathus_ is long or short.  My vote is short, only
because I've heard "gnath" always pronounced short when it is found in
other scientific names.  Does any one have any other references on
pronunciation rules for scientific names?  My curiosity is now piqued. 
Thanks!

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