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Re: Plesiopterys, new plesiosaur from Germany
David Marjanovic (email@example.com) wrote (responding to me, in
<<First, the pronounciation is either softer, or easier, to make;>>
The sound "s" at least in English is an easier sound than "ks" or "zs"
depending on the dialect in English, which is how X is pronounced here.
This is essentially, for precision's sake, a double-sound, including "s,"
whereas S by itself lacks this.
<I haven't seen -pterys, but anyway, I think -pteris is a different word.
Just think of "Pteridophyta".>
No, it's the same word, just "softer." There is almost no instance in
either Latin or English that I know of for use of the "ih" or "eh" sounds
approximated by use of I or Y that _require_ Y except etymologically.
O'Keefe uses _-pterys_ in the etymology, but Greek suggests _pterigio_ or
_pterygio_. _Pteryx_ is one declension, but the use of -s may involve the
word _pteron_, another word for "wing," rather than the generalized term
for wing/feather/flipper. It is also used specifically for "fern," derived
as _pterido_, in the sense that a fern frond resembles a birds wing, as in
the array of "feathers" for leaves. In this sense, a better word was
chosen, but O'Keefe's meaning, and the meaning of _pterys_ is exact, if
different from use in other more common vertebrate names.
<Well... the root is pteryg-.>
One could say the root is _ptero-_, or _pter-_, in combining forms, thus
allowing modifiers for senses without changing the structure of the root
itself; the letter upsilon can be used interchangeable for I or Y in
transliteration, so the use of "-is" and "-ys" is really a matter of taste
rather than exactitude, as one can say _pterig-_ just as easily; iota is
used primarily for "eye/aye," as eta is used for "ee" and "eh," epsilon
for "ay" and "eh," and upsilon for "ih" and "ee."
Jaime A. Headden
Little steps are often the hardest to take. We are too used to making leaps
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do. We should all
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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