names of people and plants

Kelly Irvin
Fri, 11 Apr 2003 07:41:37 PDT

My opinion would match yours among others. No criticism here for anybody 
that pronounces things differently, but these names are "Latin-ized", 
which, at least, can provide universal guidelines. I pronounce Clivia 
with a short "i", because it would follow those guidelines. When someone 
runs across a description of the genus Clivia, they cannot expect to see 
along with it all historical references to why or how it received that name.

It may be that pronunciation is not nearly as important an issue as 
spelling. Let's face it. The word Clivia may be Latin-ized, but it did 
not exist in the Latin language when that language was still living. 
Just like today, we could find that, when it came to family names in old 
Rome, they may have broken the rules of Latin pronunciation, since a 
family name is someone's own to pronounce however they please. I would 
guess that, as long as the listener understands to what the speaker is 
referring, pronunciation may not be so important.

I will NEVER understand why the Australians pronounce "aluminum" as 
"aaliuminium", but it sure is a heck of a lot more fun to say it their 
way than the American way - imho.

diana chapman wrote:

>Dear Diane and all:
>My interest in bulbs started long before I ever met any other like-minded
>people to share with, so I started pronouncing names the Latin way, or the
>way I was told to in books.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that I
>appear to be the only person on earth who pronounces Lachenalia
>"la-shen-all-ia"!  It is too ingrained to change.  My Latin (Catholic
>school) background makes it impossible for me to split latin words up,
>laying the emphasis on the middle syllable thereby making nonsense of the
>Latin.  Or, pronouncing Triteleia bridgesii, "brid-gess-ee-eye".  I'm too
>old to change.
Mr. Kelly M. Irvin
The Bulbmeister
4407 Town Vu Road
Bentonville, AR 72712

USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 6b


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