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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Notes on pronunciation (1) Plato

Plato is probably the number one philosopher for mispronunciation. Indeed, an entire country seem to think it is correct to call him:

However, his name is not play-doh. The emphasis should be upon the T rather than flattening it. Thus:

Of course, Greeks might point out that we are all mispronuncing the word and it should sound more like:

I'm not so sure about that myself. Not that they don't know their own language. They do.
Whatever, just stop calling him Play-Doh.


Lunar Hine said...

And can it really be true that Socrates is correctly pronounced 'sew-crates'? Horrors.

god-free morals said...

You mean like this:

Ent said...

Well, Mr Malls, who knows how your name will be pronounced in a few thousand years time?

Yours, Mr Eye-n

paul bowman said...

Two countries, I think, as I'd wager the northern cousins are as guilty as we on this point. I can tell you that to the ears of people over here, there's a clear distinction between th' t in Plato and th' d in Play-doh, as you'd normally hear those names vocalized (pardon that zed!) here. But when I say them in quick succession, I'm struck by how subtle the actual sonic quality that renders them distinct really is. No surprise if it's a distinction lost on the rest of the English-speaking world. Funny thing, language.

god-free morals said...

An interesting argument, that it really is being pronounced correctly and just that everyone else can't hear it... I have no effective reply to that.

Other than it reminds me of a similar argument (get-out clause?), "you don't understand my argument, well you need to read more." This or, "we're coming at this from differing perspectives and thus neither are at fault" is an attempt to remove responsibility. It's an odd thing, I know, using terms like responsibility for our common language use, but I think we have one anyway. It is always (at the very least) partially our fault when language goes awray. Of course it becomes problematic when we attempt to frame quite how this responsibility will fit with our actions.

Like I said, no effective reply.

Syncopated Eyeball said...