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RE: Laelaps help

Didn't you hear the man? - "Consistency is needed!"

The lowest common denominator of linguistic ignorance must be ENFORCED!

Burn the heretics! (...showoffs)


Dr John D. Scanlon, FCD
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
"Get this $%#@* python off me!", said Tom laocoonically.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Marjanovic [mailto:david.marjanovic@gmx.at] 
Sent: 23 March, 2008 3:16 AM
Subject: Re: Laelaps help

>     This issue has been something I've pondered for a long time (basically
> when hearing all sorts of different pronunciations of "aetosaur"), and
> whether it's technically correct under various linguistic rules or not, 
> I've
> more or less come to the conclusion that all those extra a's and o's in 
> the
> Old English spellings are essentially silent (unless you have a very thick
> accent!) and serve basically as markers that the following "e" is long
> rather than short.

Nope. The spellings are not English at all in any way whatsoever. It's just 
etymology: the words are lifted wholesale from Latin (which in most cases 
has lifted them from Greek).

> Basically it _has_ to be "LEE-laps," or else you also
> have to pronounce:

Are you insinuating that English has spelling rules? :-)

(To be fair, it does -- _over 85 % of the time_! 
http://www.zompist.com/spell.html Woohoo!)

> "palaeontology" as "PAY-lay-on-TAH-loh-jee" (instead of "PAY-lee-on...")

Not that it matters, but where does the length of the first syllable come 

> "_Coelophysis_" as "SOY-loh-FY-sis" (instead of "SEE-loh-FY...")

The Greek word for "hollow" this is built on is _koilos_. Kappa, omikron, 
iota, lambda, omikron, sigma. So, _oi_ as in "oil". The Romans always 
equated this diphthong this with their own _oe_ -- _e_ as in "bed" --, and 
this practice is what Cope followed here. (It was even written as a Rule in 
the Strickland Code, the first precursor of the ICZN.)

> etc.  For "aetosaur," I often hear "ah-EE-toh-sawr" or "ay-EE-toh-sawr," 
> but
> I've always contended it's just "EE-toh-sawr."

But the ë goes back all the way to the original Greek.