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Re: Summary: Chicxulub pronunciation: PS
Actually, "Chick-shoe-lube", "chik-shooloob" and "chick-shoo-loob" (as well as
the now official :-) "chik-shoo-loob") are clearly intended to represent,
through impressionistic spelling, the exact same pronunciation, which can't be
conveyed more accuratly without using phonetic symbols. Tommy Tyrberg's
"cheekshooloob" is nearly equivalent. The orthography of the Mayan languages is
Spanish-based, and one of the few differences is the pronunciation of "x" like
English "sh" (as in Old Spanish).
The name is a compound of two words, "chic" and "xulub". Alas, I have no Mayan
dictionary to hand to verify the etymology, but I happen to know that <xulub'>
means 'horn, antler' in Mopan Maya, spoken in Yucatan, and "chic" might
possibly be identical with <chIc> 'red' in the same language, therefore
(hypothetically) 'Red Horn' rather than 'Devil's Tail'.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Taylor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2002 12:59 PM
Subject: Summary: Chicxulub pronunciation
> OK, the votes are in. A dozen people replied to my call for help in
> pronouncing Chicxulub, the name of the impact crater on the Yucatan
> peninsula, which is often connection with the extinction of non-avian
> dinosaurs. Here are the candidate pronunciations:
> Dan Varner SHICK-shah-lube
> James R. Cunningham Chicks-ooh-lube
> Daniel Bensen Cheek-hoo-loob
> Ralph W. Miller III Chick-shoe-lube
> Piotr Gasiorowski chik-shooloob
> Jean-Michel tchik-ksooloob <-- the most difficult one!
> Nick Pharris CHICK-shoo-loob
> Tommy Tyrberg Cheekshooloob
> Luke Ber Chich-a-lube
> Dann Pigdon Chicks-a-lub / Chicks-a-loob
> T. Michael Keesey CHAI-shoo-loob
> David Marjanovic Chikjulub
> So, amazingly, that's thirteen suggestions (including both of Dan
> Pigdon's versions), and NO TWO OF THEM are the same, even when you
> ignore the syllable breaks and accents/capitalisation. However, there
> is _some_ consensus:
> * All but two verisons agree that the first "Ch" is pronounced
> as it would be in English. (The other offers were "sh" and
> "tch" -- the latter of which I can't pronounce anyway!)
> * All but two versions agree that the first vowel sounds like
> "i" (the other two both said "ee")
> * Five versions offer "ksh" as the central consonant-cluster,
> with seven other contenders!
> * Seven versions has the middle vowel-sound as "oo", with "a"
> (preumably unvoiced) the next most popular.
> * All but two versions agree on "loob" or a variant as the last
> So I now pronounce that the official DML Consensus Spelling of the
> Crater Of Death/Destruction/Nothing-Much (delete according to your
> doctinal position) is --
> (Which is pretty much what Ralph, Piotr and Nick all said.) If I have
> learned anything from this experience, it's a lesson I should have
> learned a long time ago, which is: there is no question which, if
> asked on the DML, will not provoke disagreement. (Mary, can I submit
> that soundbite to the Calendar competition? :-)
> Ralph also offered the nugget that the name means "tail of the devil".
> BTW., I notice that, despite my handly hint, "Replies OFF-LIST please
> -- I will summarise tomorrow", several people couldn't resist replying
> on-list. And several others, who had already contacted me privately
> as requested, couldn't resist commenting on the on-list replies :-)
> Accordingly, I now call upon M&M to shut down this thread!
> _/|_ _______________________________________________________________
> /o ) \/ Mike Taylor <email@example.com> www.miketaylor.org.uk
> )_v__/\ "The difference between 0 and 1 isn't very great" -- Mike