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Re: Summary: Chicxulub pronunciation: PS

I was in the press room at the 1990 GSA meeting in Dallas, where Alan Hildebrand and Glen Penfield announced the discovery, and talked with Penfield a while there. I am not very good at pronunciation, but I recall that Penfield (who had found the crater while collecting geophysical data for Pemex, and knew the area), pronounced Chicxulub about like the three versions Piotr gives.

Penfield said the official meaning was the Devil's Tail, but said that had been sanitized a bit, because another possible translation was an organ present only in males. -- Jeff Hecht

At 3:26 PM +0100 12/18/02, Piotr Gasiorowski wrote:
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" <mike@seatbooker.net> To: <dinosaur@usc.edu> 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   <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>   www.miketaylor.org.uk
 )_v__/\  "The difference between 0 and 1 isn't very great" -- Mike