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Re: pronunciation of saurus by a spanish speaker who also knows some greek

Mike, what I think is definitively wrong is....
(silence in the tribune) "SOR-us".

A few random thoughts on the matter:

- When English speakers discuss on how to pronounce a scientific name, that usually means how to pronounce it IN ENGLISH. That concept is apparently natural to e. g. French speakers, but totally alien to e. g. German speakers.*

- We can be quite sure that "au" (alpha ypsilon) was never pronounced like any sort of "o" in Greek. In modern Greek it's pronounced "av", so it seems to have drifted in the opposite direction. In Latin, a tendence to merge "au" into "o" seems to have started early on, as seen in spelling ambiguities like Claudius/Clodius, but it didn't get very far -- today French pronounces "au" the same as "o", but Spanish, Portuguese, and most kinds of Italian don't.

- Consistency within a language would certainly be a good thing, but the English orthography is an outright obstacle to this... (French has the opposite situation.)

* That doesn't mean we get it right. But we tend to _believe_ we get the pronunciation in the original languages right. :-} That is to say, we don't consciously pronounce foreign words as if they were German.