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
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ "The difference between 0 and 1 isn't very great" -- Mike