Kniphofia in South Africa

M Ashley-Cooper
Sat, 13 Dec 2008 06:02:21 PST
As a South African, we pronounce the name "Al- oh" as in Al Capone and Oh 
wow, is he dead?
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jim McKenney
  To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'
  Sent: 13 12, 2008 7:42 AM
  Subject: Re: [pbs] Kniphofia in South Africa

  Tim wrote: "Leo wrote:" Kniphofia should probably be included in Aloe"

  Which I'm assuming should be pronounced 'Al-OI', Jim?"

  No. You've picked up on part of what I was explaining, but not all of it.

  If one wants to represent the sound al-oi in Latin, one writes aloe.

  However, the name of the plant is not Aloe, it's Aloë. Those two little 
  over the e indicate that the o and the e are to be pronounced separately;
  they indicate that there are three syllables and not two.  They indicate
  that the oe is not the diphthong oe but rather the o sound followed by the 
  sound. By the way, those two little dots are not an umlaut, they are what 
  known as a dieresis.

  The code of nomenclature accepts the word printed with or without the
  dieresis. In the old days, there were probably not many printers in the
  English-speaking world who had type fonts for the dieresis, and it's rare 
  find one. In the modern world there is no practical reason not to use it.

  Aloë is pronounced a-lo-e (remember, it's Latin, not English, so it's
  something like AH-lo-ay).

  This three syllable pronunciation is at least two millennia old, older in
  fact than classical Latin (it was a three syllable word in classical 
  and is still observed by many (mostly outside the English-speaking world). 

  Jim McKenney

  Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA 

  My Virtual Maryland Garden


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