Redux.

Back in 2007, a LH post began as follows:

I have always pronounced the preposition pace (‘with due deference to’ or ‘despite,’ from the ablative of Latin pax) in the traditional anglicized way, PAY-see, and assumed that was the universally accepted pronunciation. Now I discover […] that the Church Latin version, PAH-chay, is equally acceptable (the OED gives it second place for U.K. usage, first place for U.S.). So it’s time for another Languagehat straw poll: if you use this slightly obnoxious Latinism, how do you say it?

That was a good thread, with many interesting responses. Now I have a similar question, based on this Geoffrey Pullum post at Lingua Franca, which begins with an argument between linguists: Pullum says the word redux ‘brought back’ is pronounced “riddúx” (“stressing the second syllable, as in redúction“); his friend Mark Steedman insists it’s “réddux” (“stressing the first syllable, as in réddish“).

“You seriously think,” asks Mark, “that Updike’s second Rabbit Angstrom novel is called ‘Rabbit Reddúx’?”

“And you think it’s called ‘Rabbit Réddux’?”

It was a standoff. Trying to intimidate each other with protestations of disbelief was clearly not going to get us anywhere.

Pullum checks dictionaries and discovers that “redux is not in John Wells’s Longman Pronunciation Dictionary or in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. No help there.” I found that astonishing, and thought he must have missed the word in Webster’s Third, but when I ran to my copy, sure enough, no redux (just before where it should be is reduvius ‘the type genus of Reduviidae,’ and a few words down is red-wat [Scot.] ‘wet with blood’!) I don’t know how they missed it back in 1961, but it’s in Webster’s Collegiate, with the dual pronunciations \(ˌ)rē-ˈdəks, ˈrē-ˌ\ (i.e., reeDUX and REEdux). Pullum finds it in the OED:

The matchless Oxford English Dictionary gives two pronunciations: “Brit. /ˈriːdʌks/ , U.S. /ˈriˌdəks/” is what it says. That’s like réedux and ríddux — disagreeing with both Mark and me.

He ends his post:

Certain questions about human languages don’t have definite answers. Half a dozen plausible pronunciations of redux coexist. Select at will; no one can authoritatively refute you. But you may find it a bit unsettling that no one can authoritatively confirm your correctness either. You’re on your own. It’s a phonetic jungle out there.

Me, I’ve always (mentally) said /ˈriːdʌks/ (REEdux), doubtless from having looked it up as a wee lad — I certainly didn’t hear it around the house. So: how do you say it (if, of course, you ever say it at all)?

Comments

  1. marie-lucie says:

    I don’t think I have either heard it or had to say it, but I assumed it was reedux.

    I have never heard “pace” either, but assumed it was “patchay”.

  2. I always assumed “redux” was an iamb: “ree-DUCKS.” Making “Rabbit Redux” a nice trochee + iamb combo (which I assume there’s a name for but I don’t know what it is.)

    I have no idea why my mind jumped to this conclusion rather than the other. I have no idea if I’ve ever heard it said aloud, up to this very day (I don’t remember ever talking about the book with anybody in real life.)

  3. Same as Edward H. for me. My wife, however, disagrees.

    Rabbit REEduks sounds like a kid’s cartoon. (To me.)

  4. Pullum writes:

    Updike himself reports (in his essay collection Hugging the Shore, according to Wikipedia) that he says “ray-dooks”: different vowels (he must mean something like [ɹedʊks]), but unfortunately his nonce spelling doesn’t supply the crucial stress information.

    I would guess he stressed the initial syllable, given the Latinity of his version. Sure would be interesting to actually hear him say it, though!

  5. I’ve always followed factory-issue Anglo-Latin rules and said “REE-ducks.”

  6. I also mentally pronounce it /ˈriːdʌks/ (REEdux).

    Do others use the same vowels they’d use in saying “reductio ad absurdum” in an English sentence? For me the first word would be /riː’dʌkti:oʊ/ (ree-DUK-tee-oh). Or maybe I’d use a short “i” in the first syllable, but this post made me suspect redux and reductio are somehow linked in my mind.

  7. For me the first word would be /riː’dʌkti:oʊ/ (ree-DUK-tee-oh). Or maybe I’d use a short “i” in the first syllable

    Same here.

  8. Yeah, I have /ˈɹɪiˌdʌks/ and /ɹəˈdʌktioʊ/. The former word I associate with Coppola’s Apocalypse Now Redux.

    Another case like pace is bona fide: I learned that term as /ˈboʊnə ˌfaɪd/ before I knew anything of Latin, but nowadays I’m tempted to revise it to /ˈboʊnə ˌfaɪdi/. Though I worry that that version might sound silly to people who haven’t heard it before.

  9. This Romance speaker pronounce both of them as he would a Portuguese word, even when reading English: /ˈpa.se/ and /reˈduks/ (which in my accent becomes [heˈduks]).

  10. My fumbling introspection is that I would give REEducks as the citation form but might just as easily produce riDUCKS in connected speech.

  11. January First-of-May says:

    Thinking about it, I’m not sure if it’s re-DOOKS or re-DUCKS – probably the latter. But definitely second-syllable stress, and definitely reduced first syllable (“reduced” and “reduction” also have that).

    And the only “pace” I know is the one from “requiescat in pace” (I had to look up the spelling of the first word – my first two attempts were “requestas” and “requietas”), which I essentially pronounce as something like “PAH-tseh” (with the [t͡s] sound, as if it was spelled паце – which is apparently the German tradition).
    I had no idea that this word ever meant anything but “peace” until reading the thread linked here (and even after that I can’t recall any actual case of ever encountering it in that meaning outside said thread – though I’ll probably notice it more often now that I know what to look for).

    EDIT: Incidentally, this thread is the first time I’ve heard of the “Rabbit Redux” novel either. (And now I’m wondering whether I just used “either” correctly.)

  12. J.W. Brewer says:

    I think I say ree-DUKS. In my head at least. Not sure if I’ve ever had occasion to say it aloud (or hear it said aloud).

    The google n-gram viewer shows a very sharp drop in “redux” from around 1900 to 1935, then a low-level plateau through around 1975, then sharp increase until it’s back to c. 1900 levels by 2000. That might explain why dictionaries compiled during the lull might have omitted it?

  13. “PAH-tseh” (with the [t͡s] sound, as if it was spelled паце – which is apparently the German tradition)

    There are at least three German traditions, of which I have heard bits over the years. As I have read, Latin taught in schools had “c” pronounced as German “z”, viz. [t͡s]. Later, after consciousness-raising im Gymnasium oder at university, it becomes “k” (as I have actually heard said). The “tsche” pronunciation is, I think, Church Latin influenced by Italian, and I’ve heard that on Sunday morning TV when I didn’t switch the channel fast enough.

  14. REE-ducks /ˈridʌks/ but ri-DUCK-tee-o /rɪˈdʌktioʊ/. And that’s a fine use of either.

  15. My favorite thing about the word “redux” is that in the third or fourth Rabbit book Updike has a character say something disparaging about the word, hinting that the author feels some embarrassment or regret about using it in the title of the second book.

    I say “Rabbit REE-ducks”, even if it may sound a little cartoonish.

  16. I would normally pronounce it /ˈriːdəks/. However, in the book title the stress is reversed. I’m not sure why though; I may just be remembering the stress pattern used by my Advanced Placement English teacher in high school. (We didn’t read the book, but I remember her talking about the first two Rabbit books in class at least once.)

    I have marked the unstressed vowel as a schwa, because I pronounce “redux” and “redox” the same way. For the latter word, this requires a reduced vowel.

  17. I find it amusing that a blog where people go completely Trumpian on anyone in the New Yorker who ever claims there is a proper way to write anything, calling them vile names like Intolerant or Prescriptivist …

    … nonetheless sometimes has hard and fast opinions on things that can’t possibly have a rule, like the penumbral moment at which a foreign word being quoted in English (by members of a small literati that ever use it) becomes an English word.

    LH, you actually told someone in the ‘pace’ thread that she was “wrong” about something as certain and final as whether the name of a Persian, which must have been read in the last 4 centuries near exclusively as a translation from Hebrew via the KJV, could legitimately be pronounced as if the Farsi original had any relevance, or whether one must give complete deference to a postulated ancient pathway from Greek to Latin to English.

    You came down against undue Iranian influence! Trump would be proud.

    And someone came to your support, saying Darius “is commonly mispronounced.”

    I do recognize that there is little effort here to impose a proper pronunciation on ‘pace’ or ‘redux.’ Just reacting with amusement to some comments in the link I followed.

  18. John Roth says:

    Being a latinate philistine, I’ve never had an occasion to pronounce redux out loud. My mental pronunciation has the accent on the last syllable, with the final consonant as in ox or redox, although the final vowel is, of course, different. Likewise, I’ve always pronounced pace as the word used in a walking context (a measured pace, pacing back and forth) with a long a. Not being Catholic, I’ve never had the opportunity to hear it pronounced in the liturgy, or at least not often enough to distinguish it.

  19. @ryan: It’s ok to have strong opinions on what language forms do you prefer.

    It’s not ok to assert that your subjective aesthetic opinions are The One Proper Way to Write, implying (or outright asserting) that everyone who doesn’t cater to your sensibilities is an ignoramus using language in Error. Math has objective errors. Language, like fashion or cooking, has norms; and norms are fluid things, open to discussion and personal preference, varying with context and audience.

    This is exactly why the conclusion of the original article is

    Half a dozen plausible pronunciations of redux coexist. Select at will; no one can authoritatively refute you.

    It’s especially strange to compare this to Trump, given that linguists make an effort to respect the linguistic variants of minority or low-prestige groups (variants which prescriptivists just brush aside as “errors”); and Trump isn’t exactly known for protecting or encouraging diversity, or respect for minorities.

  20. REE-ducks for me. And I’ve never heard pace pronounced aloud, nor attempted it.

  21. Ree-DUCKS

  22. Must we hear tell of that man everywhere, even here at the Hattery?

    “The Egotists’ Club is one of the most genial places in London. It is a place to which you may go when you want to tell that odd dream you had last night, or to announce what a good dentist you have discovered. You can write letters there if you like, and have the temperament of a Jane Austen, for there is no silence room, and it would be a breach of club manners to appear busy or absorbed when another member addresses you. You must not mention golf or fish, however, and, if the Hon. Freddy Arbuthnot’s motion is carried at the next committee meeting (and opinion so far appears very favourable), you will not be allowed to mention wireless either. As Lord Peter Wimsey said when the matter was mooted the other day in the smoking-room, those are things you can talk about anywhere.”

      —”The Abominable History of the Man with the Copper Fingers”

  23. LH, you actually told someone in the ‘pace’ thread that she was “wrong” about something as certain and final as whether the name of a Persian, which must have been read in the last 4 centuries near exclusively as a translation from Hebrew via the KJV, could legitimately be pronounced as if the Farsi original had any relevance, or whether one must give complete deference to a postulated ancient pathway from Greek to Latin to English.

    I’m glad you’re having fun with your attempts to find inconsistency in my position (you’re hardly the first, of course), but the modern Persian pronunciation is in fact utterly irrelevant to how one would say “Darius” in reading, say, Herodotus. I mean, people can say things however they like, I will defend to the death their right to do so, but if you think that point is simply a reflection of my personal prejudice/hypocrisy/whatever, I don’t know what to tell you.

  24. REEduks, and hitherto completely unaware that there was a lack of consensus on it (which is probably a good indication that I’ve never-or-rarely actually heard it pronounced).

  25. January First-of-May says:

    LH, you actually told someone in the ‘pace’ thread that she was “wrong” about something as certain and final as whether the name of a Persian, which must have been read in the last 4 centuries near exclusively as a translation from Hebrew via the KJV, could legitimately be pronounced as if the Farsi original had any relevance, or whether one must give complete deference to a postulated ancient pathway from Greek to Latin to English.

    To be fair, as far as I understand, it’s unclear whether the Greek ending -os in the name Dareios has any relevance to the actual Persian name (which at the time would have had three syllables in that place), or is just the Greek nominative.
    Herodotus notes the fact (by which he is surprised) that all the Persian kings’ names end with the same letter (they still do in English – Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, Artaxerxes); he proceeds to say, further on, that all the names of (IIRC) Greek holidays also end with that same letter, which does make one suspect that he’s probably referring to the nominative ending (not being a linguist, he wouldn’t have thought of it that way).

  26. marie-lucie says:

    ryan: LH, you actually told someone in the ‘pace’ thread that she was “wrong” about something as certain and final as whether the name of a Persian, which must have been read in the last 4 centuries near exclusively as a translation from Hebrew via the KJV, could legitimately be pronounced as if the Farsi original had any relevance, or whether one must give complete deference to a postulated ancient pathway from Greek to Latin to English.

    I was curious to know who the “wrong” “she” was, and sure enough when I went back to the original thread I was the person in question. I think that you, ryan, misunderstood the nature and intent of my comment. As a historically-minded linguist I was wondering about the origin of the Latin version of the name. I was glad that someone referred me to Wikipedia about Darius, whose ancient name indeed was quite different from both “Darius” and the current Persian “Daryoush”. Nothing was suggested about which form was the most suitable one to use in English.

  27. Heh.

  28. Evan Hess says:

    A Victorian Latinist, knowing that the e in redux is short and that the accent falls on the first syllable, would have pronounced the word with the corresponding English short e and first syllable accent. On the other hand, it would be hard for many English speakers to ignore the strong tendency in English to pronounce two-syllable Latinate words starting with re- with the accent on the second syllable (return, reply, rescind, respect…), which makes reDUX sound pretty natural. On the third hand, we have the option of pronouncing re- with a long e and accent in words where we want to stress recurrence (“Press the re-set button,” “This program is a repeat”), and we have the example of reflux, which is close in shape to redux. I can’t think of a reason in the world to say that one pronunciation or another is better or more correct for this most obscure word — they all are justifiable, an embarassment of riches.

  29. Eli Nelson says:

    I never thought about it, but I always mentally pronounced this /ˈriːdəx/. From context, I assumed it meant something similar to “repeat” /ˈriːpiːt/. I’d say “reductio” as /rɪˈdʌkʃoʊ/: basically “reduction” with the final consonant removed and the vowel changed. However, judging by dictionary entries, this seems to be less common than versions with /tioʊ/ or /ʃioʊ/.

  30. A Victorian Latinist, knowing that the e in redux is short and that the accent falls on the first syllable, would have pronounced the word with the corresponding English short e and first syllable accent.

    I don’t think so. The traditional pronunciation of Latin, which includes the pronunciation of Latin derivatives, discards Latin vowel length after using it to decide the position of the stress, and in English a penultimately stressed syllable followed by a single consonant is open, and gets a “long” (i.e. tense) vowel in English. This is the case for redux.

  31. January First-of-May says:

    “repeat” /ˈriːpiːt/

    Was it a typo, or do you actually say “repeat” with first syllable stress?

  32. Evan Hess says:

    John —

    Penultimate stress rule:

    Hmm … should we follow the Europa penultimate rule (to take the example from your Wikipedia (or should it be Wikipædia?) article, or the first syllable Ganymede rule? — I can see two Victorian schoolmasters refusing to speak to each other for thirty years after arguing over which rule should take precedence.

    I will bow to you, on the principle of the overarching rule of the traditional pronunciation of Latin, which is that it is odd.

  33. Eli Nelson says:

    @January First-of-May:
    I say “repeat” with stress on the second syllable for the verb, and on the first syllable for the noun (actually, I think the noun varies similar to other double-stressed words like “sixteen” when it’s used to modify another word). I think that’s fairly common.

  34. Evan Hess says:

    January First-of-May —

    Turning on the television, seeing that one has already watched the program that is on, it would be fairly common to say to one’s spouse,

    “Let’s change the channel. This program is a REpeat.”

  35. David Marjanović says:

    with the [t͡s] sound, as if it was spelled паце – which is apparently the German tradition

    Short answer: yes. 0 out of 2 teachers tried to tell us otherwise; I learned the whole [k] business from reading things that weren’t course material, like the preface of the dictionary.

    The “tsche” pronunciation is, I think, Church Latin influenced by Italian, and I’ve heard that on Sunday morning TV when I didn’t switch the channel fast enough.

    In that case it’s not Latin at all, it’s just Italian. In these days after the Decline and Fall of the Occident, it happens that Latin words are mistakenly identified as Italian by people who haven’t spent years translating one sentence per hour. I really don’t think “Church Latin” ever caught on in German-speaking places; the church uses [t͡s], and invariant [g ~ g̊] for g, like everyone else.

  36. Eli Nelson: Indeed, I have no claim to English fluency, but /ridʌkʃioʊ/ is to me much more natural than /ridʌktioʊ/, on the analogy of words like ratio.

    Evan Hess: the Ganymede rule is for DUH-duh-duh, not DUH-duh. Compare “nation” and “national”.

  37. Eli Nelson says:

    @minus273:
    Right, although “national” may not be the best example as its pronunciation is actually irregular: there’s another rule that says all vowels except “i” take a long pronunciation when followed by a single consonant letter that represents a single sound, a letter “i” that does not represent a stressed vowel, and then another vowel letter, and this rule is generally dominant over the tri-syllabic laxing rule. “Rational” follows the same irregular pattern as “national,” but all other words ending in “ational” aside from derivatives of these two are pronounced with “long a”: invitational, relational, conversational, derivational, etc.

  38. Ryan wrote:

    And someone came to your support, saying Darius “is commonly mispronounced.”

    But no. In fact someone said this:

    LH, well noted concerning Darius, which is very commonly “mispronounced”.

    An important difference. Quote accurately please.

    I say /ˈriːdʌks/ (and Latin “re-” is normally given that quality, if not that length, in English; but note “redolent”). We should make something explicit about Latin pronunciation: the length of that “e” has no part in determining the stress.

    I say /riː’dʌkti:oʊ/ (and I can confirm that as standard among Australian philosophers).

  39. Jean-Michel says:

    I admit I’m not a particularly big reader and Apocalypse Now Redux was the first time I had ever seen the word. I had no acquaintance with Latin and assumed (embarrassingly, in retrospect) that it was just a pretentious French-style spelling of “redo,” and pronounced it as such. I realized my error a few years later, when another “redux” movie came out (Ashes of Time Redux) and I heard its director at a Q&A pronouncing the title as /ˈriːdʌks/, which has since become my pronunciation.

  40. I say /ˈriːdʌks/ REE-ducks; never realized that anyone pronounced it differently; and somehow never noticed that it’s a rare word.

    I also never realized it’s a pure Latinism; I think I would have guessed that it was a slightly colloquial short form, analogously to something like the noun repeat, or maybe something like po-mo.

    @Ed H: It’s called a choriamb.

  41. LH wrote:

    >but the modern Persian pronunciation is in fact utterly irrelevant to how one would say “Darius” in reading, say, Herodotus.

    Marie-Lucie wrote:
    >Nothing was suggested about which form was the most suitable one to use in English.

    I’m glad I could bring you together in saying my mild sarcasm was completely out of line, despite your varying interpretations of your previous exchange.

    LH further wrote:
    >if you think that point (on how to say Darius when reading Herodotus) is simply a reflection of my personal prejudice, I don’t know what to tell you

    I suspect that it’s the Trump reference that somehow pushed buttons here, because mine was a pretty minor comment. I even said so at the end of the comment, pointing out that I was merely amused about one small exchange in a pair of interesting threads. Maybe no one could find the sarcasm in my pretense that an educated effort to exclude a Middle Eastern point of view on word pronunciation was somehow like a real-world effort to exclude Middle Easterners from the US.

    For the record, I was not being serious in equating the two.

    But there is the teensiest bit of Trumpery in being caught in a minor inconsistency, by someone who says it’s minor, and then rather than conceding a minor point with a bemused smile, instead going for complete denial.

    Because, of course, if we’re truly talking about “how one would say Darius in reading, say, Herodotus”, as I’ve now been lectured …

    then Da-RYE-us and Dar-YOUSH are both little eddies swirling at the edges of the current of DAR-ius.

    I don’t care if someone wants to say Da-RYE-us instead of DAR-ius. But it’s awfully amusing to see someone characterize an effort to inject the Persian into the question as “irrelevant and wrong”, in defense of the great relevance of one’s own sectarian pronunciation, whose only currency is in a group considerably smaller than, say, English as a 2nd language native Farsi speakers. Not even the academics who create educational videos about Darius for the internet say Da-RYE-us.

    Dar-YOOSH seemed interesting and relevant to me. Considerably more so than Da-RYE-us. But Dar-YOOSH was characterized as irrelevant and wrong. That’s what I was reacting to.

    If one insists on keeping the long vowel, then I think one should take the vocative as well when speaking the name – verbally, the long i should give one Darie.

    Anyway, I think a thread should be written on the proper nominal form for “actions characteristic of the Donald.” I’ve hitherto described such things as Trumpery, because I like the condescension provided by the rhymes with frippery, foppery and japery.

    But Trumpistry is appealing for its echo with sophistry. The problem being that Trumpistry seems to suggest a school of Trumpists, when I think the guy is almost alone in his particular strain of cynicism and sustained, high-level willful ignorance. There are various people who travel part of the way with him, but few if any who are truly Trumpist. So I fall back on Trumpery, while waiting for someone to provide a better term.

  42. Reporting from SE Australian: “r’DUX” /ɹəˈdʌks/, rhyming with “deluxe” (I’m pretty sure that’s the word I based my pronunciation of “redux” on, actually — certainly didn’t hear it spoken).

  43. Eli Nelson says:

    ryan said:

    LH, you actually told someone in the ‘pace’ thread that she was “wrong” about something as certain and final as whether the name of a Persian, which must have been read in the last 4 centuries near exclusively as a translation from Hebrew via the KJV, could legitimately be pronounced as if the Farsi original had any relevance, or whether one must give complete deference to a postulated ancient pathway from Greek to Latin to English.

    marie-lucie said:

    About Darius: a friend of mine who spent two years in Iran and speaks fluent Persian says it is Dar-YOOSH in Persian, a common male name, so the final -us is not a Latin suffix. I don’t think I have ever heard the name said in English, but I find Da-RYE-us very strange, same as Ma-RYE-a for Maria. Is the Roman figure Marius known as Ma-RYE-us in English?

    LH replied:

    The premise is correct but the conclusion is wrong. The Persian form is irrelevant to English, which got the name from Latin, which got it from Greek, where it is Dareios; since -ei- gives long i in Latin, the long penult is stressed in Latin and thus (presumptively, if you believe in preserving quantity) in English.
    As for Ma-RYE-a, it’s just a traditional pronunciation, no better or worse than the hispanicized Ma-REE-a that has won out on this side of the Atlantic (I have no idea what the Brit usage is).

    What was called “wrong” was not the Persian pronunciation, but Marie-Lucie’s statement that the final -us was not a suffix in Latin. In both Greek and Latin, it seems like the name was treated as a masculine noun belonging to the second declension; the characteristic nominative suffix for words of this inflectional class is -us. So it can definitely be analyzed as having a suffix in these languages from a synchronic perspective.

    Nobody even brought up the point of whether “Dar-YOOSH” is a legitimate pronunciation variant of “Darius” in English, presumably because nobody had ever met anyone who though it is. The pathway from Greek to Latin to English is not just “postulated,” it’s pretty clear that’s the origin of the English word.

    Characterizing this as “an educated effort to exclude a Middle Eastern point of view on word pronunciation” seems bizarre, since the only Middle Eastern person involved was being quoted about the pronunciation in Persian of the name داریوش. Nobody disputed that information, but by its nature that doesn’t tell us how anybody pronounces the name “Darius” in English (it doesn’t even tell us how Middle Eastern people pronounce that name in English).

  44. And to echo a point DM made, the modern Persian form has about as much relevance here as the modern Italian form has to the pronunciation of a Latin word, or a modern Greek form to an ancient Greek word.

  45. I have always thought of it as reDUX, a paticiple rather than an adjective. And then, if you put the stress on the first, the short A becomes a shwa; to make it distinct you’d have to accentuate it and thus make a second stress?

  46. First-syllable REEpeat is to my knowledge exclusively American, like DEEfense. Circa 1989 “three-peat” became a thing, which may in turn have increased REEpeat’s currency.

  47. marie-lucie says:

    Darius

    Hoping to put an end to the controversy: by saying that the -us in Darius was not a Latin suffix, I meant (obviously prematurely) that given Persian Daryoush I supposed that the Latin equivalent must have been taken directly from the Persian, something which would have been facilitated by the similarity of the Persian ending oush to the Latin suffix. After seeing the (Old) Persian equivalent in the Wiki article on the king of kings, I realized how wrong I had been (the name was much longer). So only the initial sequence Dar- is common to all the forms, old and new. How the OP name became the much shorter Latin, Greek and Modern Persian versions is for OP specialists to tell us (if they know).

    By the way, the person from whom I learned the name Daryoush was not a Middle Eastern person but a Euro-American who had learned Persian and lived in Iran.

  48. First-syllable REEpeat is to my knowledge exclusively American

    A joke from my childhood: The jokester says “Pete and Re-Pete went out in a boat. Pete fell in the water and drowned. Who was left in the boat?” The victim replies “Re-Pete”, at which point the jokester repeats the joke. This can go on for quite a while if the victim is young enough.

    Nevertheless, I have always used final stress in repeat.

  49. marie-lucie says:

    Not about American re-, but from my own childhood:

    My grandfather liked to tell us this story (with a strong Occitan accent)(somewhat similar to a Spanish accent):

    Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre
    Vivait une troupe de brigands.
    Leur chef, homme juste mais sévère,
    Dit à Pedro: “Pedro, raconte-nous une histoire!”
    Pedro prit la parole et dit ainsi:

    Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre ….(etc)

    In a dark forest in Calabria
    There lived a gang of highwaymen.
    Their chief, a just but stern man,
    Said to Pedro: “Pedro, tell us a story!”
    Pedro started to speak and told thus:

    In a dark forest in Calabria …

    And so on ad infinitum (or until the children get bored).

    I have always felt that the style of this story (as recited by my grandfather) was literary, almost like an epic poem, which is why I am setting up the lines as shown, but the line structures and rhythms are not those of classical poetry.

  50. “His Name was Zanzibar!” is an English analogue: note the pointedly old-fashioned style and the many folk process variants.

    If we pronounce all the final e’s in your version (except in raconte-nous and the liaison parole et), and treat the second “Pedro” as an extrametrical vocative, the whole thing has a definite flavor of English-style folk poetry, with its strong stresses and variable numbers of slacks.

  51. You’ve probably already run across this, but Google Books has an example in Western Folklore – Volumes 13-14 [1954] – Page 130:

    One evening I stepped into a wayside inn and to the man on my right I said, “I killed a man tonightl” “Killed a man tonight?” “Yes, killed a man tonightl” “What was his name?” “Zanzibar.” “Zanzibar! You killed my brother. We must have a duel. I killed him. That evening, feeling depressed, I stepped into a wayside inn. . . . etc.

  52. marie-lucie says:

    I had never heard of “Zanzibar”, a more gruesome tale than my grandfather’s!

    In my grandfather’s normal speech all the e’s would be pronounced, including that of raconte-nous (except of course that of parole because of the following et). This is typical of Occitan-influenced French (now a kind of “Standard Southern French”), but also of the pronunciation of classical (or classically-influenced) French poetry. It is not the only feature that made it sound literary: leur chef, homme juste mais sévère is definitely not colloquial.

  53. There’s a similar German song, “Ein Hund kam in die Küche” . (The version I know from childhood has “lief in die Küche” and some other differences from the linked version.) Translation:
    “A dog came into the kitchen/ and stole an egg from the cook / then the cook took the spoon / and beat the dog into pulp / then all dogs came / and dug him a grave / and put up a tombstone for him / on which was written: / A dog came etc.”

  54. January First-of-May says:

    How the OP name became the much shorter Latin, Greek and Modern Persian versions is for OP specialists to tell us (if they know).

    Best I can guess from reading the Wikipedia article, all those forms come from an alternate shorter form Darayaush (the traditionally given longer form, for the record, is Darayavaush), which is attested in contemporary documents already.

    Eli Nelson is probably correct to say that “In both Greek and Latin, it seems like the name was treated as a masculine noun belonging to the second declension” (i.e. nominative -os in Greek and -us in Latin; not sure of the declension number).
    It is certainly not unusual for loanwords that sound like they belong to a particular native declension to end up declined as such; so even if in this case the suffix was indeed mostly taken from the Persian form, it doesn’t really matter.

    There’s a similar German song…

    The Russian version (quite similar to the German, which I hadn’t seen before) is У попа была собака – as recounted from a year-old Language Log comment:

    У попа была собака, он её любил,
    Она съела кусок мяса, он её убил.
    В землю закопал,
    Надпись написал:
    “У попа была собака, etc.

    (To quote the translation from that same comment:

    A priest had a dog, he loved her,
    She ate a piece of meat, he killed her.
    Buried her in a grave
    Inscription he made:
    “A priest had a dog…

    That thread features a lot of other similar songs, incidentally.)

  55. Thanks, I couldn’t remember where I’d seen the Russian version, and it was driving me crazy!

  56. January First-of-May says:

    Thanks, I couldn’t remember where I’d seen the Russian version, and it was driving me crazy!

    It’s a fairly well-known song, though, so you might have seen it somewhere else as well.

    There’s a lovely collection named Парнас дыбом (I don’t know how to translate this name), where three famous Russian songs (well, two famous Russian songs and one Russian song that was famous when the collection was originally written in the 1920s but is pretty obscure today) are retold in the styles of as many different famous writers as the authors could manage (several dozen).
    One of the songs is this one; many of the retellings leave the recurrent ending (though some do not).

  57. Парнас дыбом. I guess “Parnassus on End” is the best you can do, or maybe “Parnassus Stood on End.” (That site says it was the first in the tradition of Soviet literary parodies; I guess that’s plausible, since it was published in 1925.)

  58. Giacomo Ponzetto says:

    I’m a Romance speaker of a different persuasion than leoboiko: I pronounce redux in different ways depending on the context. I naturally pronounce Fortuna redux with the pontifical pronunciation, which in this case should be close to the classical pronunciation too. I just as naturally pronounce Apocalypse Now Redux as /riˈdʌks/, and that goes for any more recent re-edition, remix or reboot. Astraea Redux throws me off because the traditional English pronunciation of Latin never comes naturally to me, but I’ll probably try /ˈrɛˌdəks/.

    I had no idea how to pronounce Rabbit Redux. Upon reflection, I think my problem here is that I perceive /riˈdʌks/ as English but too low-brow for Updike: as others have said, it becomes a Bugs Bunny movie. But the first-syllable stress sounds Latin instead to me, and that’s fine for Dryden but a bit too much for Updike—though it seems he didn’t feel that way himself and if I can remember I’ll grant him /ˈrɛˌdəks/ in the future.

  59. Н. А. Некрасов

    В каком краю – неведомо,
    в каком году – не сказано,
    в деревне Пустоголодно
    жил был расстрига-поп.
    Жила с попом собачечка
    по имени Жужжеточка,
    собой умна, красоточка,
    да и честна притом.
    На ту собачку верную
    бросал свои владения,
    амбары да чуланчики,
    телячья мяса полные,
    поп все свое добро.
    Но голод штуку скверную
    сыграл с Жужжеткой верною,
    и, дичь украв превкусную,
    собачка съела всю.
    Узнав про кражу злостную,
    взял поп секиру острую,
    и ту Жужжетку верную
    в саду он зарубил.
    И, слезы проливаючи,
    купил плиту чугунную
    и буквами словенскими
    велел Вавиле-слесарю
    там надпись надписать:
    “В каком краю – неведомо,
    и т. д.

    1868 г. (А. Розенберг)

  60. Boy, that collection is full of great stuff.

  61. Not even the academics who create educational videos about Darius for the internet say Da-RYE-us.

    I’ve definitely heard that pronunciation from at least one academic (a Brit, for what it’s worth), though I don’t know if she creates educational videos.

  62. Trond Engen says:

    Also, My Name is Yon Yonson, which his hatness linked to quite recently.

  63. Sir JCass says:

    Da-RYE-us was certainly an older pronunciation. There’s a line in Dryden’s Alexander’s Feast, “He sung Darius great and good”, which only works metrically when pronounced that way. You can hear it sung in Handel’s setting of the ode:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6gYV7srFMM

    (Hope link works. It’s about 28 minutes in).

  64. Von Bladet of the Desert, NM says:

    Oddly, I pronounce it “scone”.

  65. Well, you pronounce everything “scone,” so that’s hardly fair.

  66. Asimov’s fictional character Darius Just (based on Harlan Ellison, but a mystery rather than a fantasy writer) uses the da-RYE-us pronunciation: he tells us that he got very tired of being called “Dry-As-Dust”. He narrates the standalone novel Murder at the ABA and is the main figure of the Black Widowers short story “The Woman in the Bar”.

  67. Trond Engen says:

    What he says is Dutch schoon. I learned just earlier today that that’s where scone is from. And it does mean “fair”.

  68. Sir JCass says:

    I always pronounce “scone” as “either”.

  69. Парнас дыбом.
    I like Parnassus on End. What an extraordinary work!
    As for the title, it must be a reference to the Meyerkhold Theatre production Земля дыбом – The Earth on End of 1923. A play by Tretyakov based on Marcel Martinet’s poem La nuit, it was their opening production that caused a sensation throughout the Soviet Union. Meyerkhold apparently petitioned Trotsky to have lorries, motorbikes and even a combine harvester for the spectacle. As titles roam, it is no surprise that an enterprising group in Kharkov, a Russian-Ukrainian cultural capital of the period, adopted it for their book of literary parodies.
    Martinet
    more on Martinet
    Wikipedia on Meyerkhold’s Theatre and the Tretyakov’s play

  70. As for the title, it must be a reference to the Meyerkhold Theatre production Земля дыбом – The Earth on End of 1923.

    Thanks, I love connections like that!

  71. Getting back to the original question, I’ve always said /ˈriːdʌks/ and never imagined it could be pronounced differently. I actually think that’s because I first encountered it with Updike: after Rabbit, Run it must have seemed natural to me for the second title to also be a full alliteration, hence with the R-syllable stressed. It never sounded cartoonish to me, but then again I was in my early teens. And Rabbit and I were pretty much neighbors in those days, whereas Updike had gotten out of that area decades before, so I like to think the character would have pronounced it more like me had he tried.

  72. Jean-Michel: I also, for a period in my life, thought redux was just a fancy French-y spelling of redo, and pronounced the same way. Somehow comforting to know that someone else made the same mistake.

  73. John Cowan: So much fun to read all the different versions of the Zanzibar folk story (folk infinite loop?). Thanks for posting it! I especially liked the commenter who was sure that his version was the original. Unfortunately, I never heard the story before, so I can’t contribute my own.

  74. marie-lucie says:

    Will: I also, for a period in my life, thought redux was just a fancy French-y spelling of redo

    There is no way that “redux” could be a French word. Perhaps you were thinking of a hypothetical “redoux” since “doux” (soft, sweet) would sound somewhat like English “do”.

    Zanzibar and the Calabrian brigands

    I tried to see whether I could find a story similar to my grandfather’s tale, and I found this, a much inferior, “novelized” version of the same basic tale:

    C’était en 1827. Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre, quarante brigands, quarante bandits, étaient réunis dans une grotte autour d’un grand feu qui donnait à leur physionomie un aspect sinistre.
    Tout-à-coup, le capitaine, s’adressant à Domenico, l’un des bandits, lui dit:
    “Domenico, dis-nous une de tes histoires ue tu racontes si bien”,
    et Domenico commença ainsi:

    C’était en 1827. Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre, quarante brigands, …

    It was in 1927. In a dark forest in Calabria, forty highwaymen, forty bandits, were gathered together in a cave around a big fire which gave their faces a sinister appearance.

    Suddenly, the captain, addressing Domenico, one of the banits, said to him: “Domenico, tell us one of your stories that you tell so well.” And Domenico started thus:

    In a dark forest in Calabria ….

  75. marie-lucie says:

    Will: I also, for a period in my life, thought redux was just a fancy French-y spelling of redo

    There is no way that “redux” could be a French word. Perhaps you were thinking of a hypothetical “redoux” since “doux” (soft, sweet) would sound somewhat like English “do”.

    Zanzibar and the Calabrian brigands

    After finding the many Zanzibars I looked for a story similar to my grandfather’s tale, and I found this, a clumsily “novelized” version of the same basic tale:

    C’était en 1827. Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre, quarante brigands, quarante bandits, étaient réunis dans une grotte autour d’un grand feu qui donnait à leur physionomie un aspect sinistre.
    Tout-à-coup, le capitaine, s’adressant à Domenico, l’un des bandits, lui dit:
    “Domenico, dis-nous une de tes histoires que tu racontes si bien”,
    et Domenico commença ainsi:

    C’était en 1827. Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre, quarante brigands, …

    It was the year 1827. In a dark forest in Calabria, forty highwaymen, forty bandits, were gathered together in a cave around a big fire which gave their faces a sinister appearance.

    Suddenly, the captain, addressing Domenico, one of the bandits, said to him:

    “Domenico, tell us one of your stories that you tell so well,”
    and Domenico started thus:

    It was the year 1827. In a dark forest in Calabria ….

  76. Marie-Lucie, this is the way I hear what you wrote in my head when I restore the stresses and final es:

    Dans une SOM-bre FO-rêt de la ca-LA-bre
    VI-vait une TROU-pe de BRI-gands.
    Leur CHEF, homme JUSTE mais sé-VÈ-re,
    Dit à PE-dro: “(Pedro!), ra-CON-te-nous un-e his-TOI-re!”
    PE-dro prit la pa-RO-l’ et dit AIN-si:

    So basically there are three stresses per line, and from one to three (exceptionally more) slack syllables between them. John Skelton’s early 16C poem “Colin Clout” has a somewhat similar flavor (orthography modernized) though with fewer slacks:

    For THOUGH my RHYME be RAG-ged,
    TAT-ter-ed and JAG-ged,
    RUDE-ly RAIN BEAT-en,
    RUS-ty and MOTH EAT-en,
    If ye TAKE WELL there-WITH,
    It HATH in it some PITH.

    The meter imposes stress on the natural slacks “ed” in the second line and “it” in the last; this is technically called promotion in English metrics, and is very common.

  77. REE-dux

  78. Eli Nelson says:

    @Marie-lucie:

    There is no way that “redux” could be a French word. Perhaps you were thinking of a hypothetical “redoux” since “doux” (soft, sweet) would sound somewhat like English “do”.

    What you say is from a French-speaker’s perspective. From an English speaker’s perspective, French “ou” and “u” are equated as English “oo.” English speakers know French final letters are often silent from various loanwords like “Grand Prix,” but they’re unlikely to know that “doux” is a French word and “dux” is not.

    @John Cowan:
    That doesn’t look quite like how I would stress the French version. If you’re pronouncing the mute Es, then “une,” “homme” and “juste” should also be two syllables when they’re before words that start with consonants.

    I would guess

    Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre
    Vivait une troupe de brigands.
    Leur chef, homme juste mais sévère,
    Dit à Pedro: “Pedro, raconte-nous une histoire!”
    Pedro prit la parole et dit ainsi:

    Dans‿u-ne SOM-bre FO-rêt de la ca-LA-bre
    Vi-VAIT u-ne TROU-pe de bri-GANDS.
    Leur CHEF, hom-me JUS-te mais sé-VÈ-re,
    Dit à Pe-DRO: “(Pe-DRO, ra-CON-te-NOUS u-n‿his-TOI-re!”
    Pe-DRO prit la pa-RO-l‿et dit ain-SI:

    I’m not sure if there would be liaison after the verbs “vivait” and “dit” in this accent.

  79. David Marjanović says:

    And it does mean “fair”.

    Meh. Döner macht schöner.

    I always pronounce “scone” as “either”.

    Either way!

    So basically there are three stresses per line, and from one to three (exceptionally more) slack syllables between them

    I’m sorry, FO-rêt, VI-vait, BRI-gands and AIN-si are what they call FRAN-çais FÉ-dé-ral in Switzerland.* There’s also no way une histoire would be pronounced with a vowel cluster.

    * Swiss German has unusually strict first-syllable stress, even in abbreviations like USA.

  80. marie-lucie says:

    My grandpa’s spoken version:

    Dans une sombre forêt de la Calabre
    Vivait une troupe de brigands.
    Leur chef, homme juste mais sévère,
    Dit à Pedro: “Pedro, raconte-nous une histoire!”
    Pedro prit la parole et dit ainsi:

    Dans‿u-ne SOM-bre fo-RÊT de la ca-LA-bre
    Vi-VAITu-ne TROU-pe de bri-GANDS.
    Leur CHEF, hom-me JUS-te mais sé-VÈ-re,
    Dità Pe-DRO: “(Pe-DRO, ra-CON-te-nous u-n‿his-TOI-re!”
    Pe-DRO prit la pa-RO-l‿et ditain-SI:

    In the final syllables ending in schwa, that schwa was pronounced, though not stressed (remember his Southern accent, not a Standard (Northern) accent).

  81. January First-of-May says:

    I’m thinking (mentally) that some lines probably rhyme, so my guess ends up something like this:

    Dan-s’u-ne SOM-bre fo-RÊT de la CA-la-BRE
    Vi-VAI-t’u-ne TROU-pe DE bri-GANDS.
    Leur CHEF, hom-me JUS-te mais SÉ-vè-RE
    Dit à PEDro: “(Pedro!) ra-CON-te nous un’ HIS-toi-RE!
    Ped-ro PRIT la pa-RO-l’et DIT ain-SI…

    It’s probably pretty far away from reality (and I’m not very sure of the starts of the lines), but – aside from the random extra “Pedro” – it does come out surprisingly singable (especially due to the rhymes).

  82. Thanks for the transcription, m-l. So I was right about the three stresses per line (always excluding the second “Pedro”: vocatives are not uncommonly extrametrical), though wrong about where most of them fall.

  83. For many years, never having heard it and having studied French but not Latin, I thought it was re-DOO. Now I think it’s re-DUX. Until I read this post, I had no idea that REE-dux was even in the running. I avoid saying it.

    I know a Darius and a Dariusz and the Darius is “DAR-ius” and the Dariusz is “DAHR-ioosh.”

  84. I had some Bible stories records when I was a kid, and the king in the story of “Daniel and the Lions’ Den” had his name pronounced duh-RYE-us. (The king involved was basically fictional though. There are some fascinating deductions scholars have made about how the stories of the Babylonian captivity were put together.) When I first heard the record, I was familiar with the name “Darius” with first syllable stress. It wasn’t for years that I realized that the name of the Biblical king was the same.

  85. I say [‘ri.dʌks] and have heard it pronounced fairly often.

    OTOH (returning to something that came up early in the thread) I still have trouble remembering that “bonified” means (what sounds in my head like) BOH-nuh FEE-day.

  86. Oh, and until today I thought pace was pronounced like pace “a step” and I’ve never heard Pay-cee or pahchay. I have so say, this has been an educational post.

  87. a question re Darius:
    How come the female form of Darius, Daria, was transformed into Dolly? Daria Oblonsky in Anna Karenina is called Dolly. Apparently, in England the nickname has been in use since 16C for Dorothy. But what is the route that changes Dorothy/Daria to Dolly?
    (PS: my English friends all say that Darius, a fairly common name, is pronounced in British English as DAH-ree-es or DEH-ree-es)

  88. David Marjanović says:

    The king involved was basically fictional though. There are some fascinating deductions scholars have made about how the stories of the Babylonian captivity were put together.

    Short version: the Book of Daniel is fanfic from the 2nd century BC, and its apocalyptic predictions are in no small measure responsible for the origin of Christianity and the whole series of Jewish uprisings.

    But what is the route that changes Dorothy/Daria to Dolly?

    I think it’s little children turning [ɹ] into [l]. Also seen in Sara(h) > Sally, Mary > Molly/Polly and quite possibly others that I haven’t noticed.

  89. Wow Dariusz! On second thoughts, Thaddeus is Tadeusz as well.

  90. @David Marjanović: There are some fan fiction aspects to the story. For example, the presence of the Medes in the story is an attempt to make it consistent with the earlier prophecies of Jeremiah. However, that’s not all there is to the book. Parts of it must represent oral traditions that go back hundreds of years (and it is these accounts that had to be reconciled with Jeremiah’s inaccurate prophecies). The character of Belshazzar, although he plays a huge role in Daniel’s story, was a very minor figure (not even actually the king) in reality, and documents testifying to his historicity were not uncovered until the nineteenth century.

  91. marie-lucie says:

    I remember reading the story of Daniel dans la fosse aux lions (in the lions’ pit) as a child but thought the king in question was Nabuchodonosor (the French version) rather than one Darius. Perhaps I confused the story with the one about the writing on the wall. But why would a Mede have been king in Babylon at the time of the captivity?

  92. In the stories that form the first half of the book, Daniel serves several historical kings including Nebuchadrezzar < Akkadian Nabû-kudurri-uṣur ‘may Nabu [the god of wisdom] defend the first-born son [the king himself]’, about whom the fiery-furnace story is told. But the lion’s-den story is about a Darius the Mede who cannot be identified with any historical ruler. In fact, the Medes united with the Babylonians and smaller groups to overthrow the (second) Assyrian Empire in the time of Nebuchadrezzar’s father (around -600).

    After Nebuchadrezzar’s death, there was a time of contention followed by the reign of Nabû-naʾid (Nabonidus), who was something of a roi fainéant and left most of the ruling to his son Bēl-šarra-uṣur (Belshazzar, Balthazar), the king (though he was not) mentioned in the writing-on-the-wall story. Both the Medes and the Babylonians under Nabû-naʾid were conquered by Cyrus the Great in the second half of the -5C.

    The form Nebuchadnezzar which appears in the text of Daniel is a sanctified typo, reading nun ן (the “unfolded” form now used only word-finally) for resh ר. In the more historical parts of the Bible it appears correctly.

  93. Trond Engen says:

    Stupid Assyrians tried to rule without having Media on its side,

  94. marie-lucie says:

    Merci JC!

  95. So Balthazar, the traditional name for one of the Wise Men in the Nativity story, is the same name as Belshazzar?

  96. Wow Dariusz! On second thoughts, Thaddeus is Tadeusz as well.

    And Klapaucius is Klapaucjusz (or vice versa, since presumably the Polish name came first).

  97. Sashura – the Darius I know has an Iranian-born mother who grew up in London and has relatives there. His father’s family came over on the Mayflower, more or less. So Darius, I presume, was chosen to be noticeably Persian/English when he’s traveling in family circles and not too foreign for America when he’s out and about.

    and minus273 – the Dariusz I know is indeed Polish-born.

    I like the Achaemenid king names. I would have been happy to name my boys Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. Well, maybe not Xerxes.

  98. Bob Gillham says:

    Because I used to work in a DVD shop up to four months ago (shut forever) and Apocalypse Now (Redux) was a thing, I can state that the young people, students from all over Britain, say reeDUCKS and PAH CHAY slight extra emphasis on CH my Parish Church which I had to attend with sickening regularity was “High Church” so used a smattering of Latin …

  99. marie-lucie says:

    David: (Dorothy – Dolly) : I think it’s little children turning [ɹ] into [l]. Also seen in Sara(h) > Sally, Mary > Molly/Polly

    These variants are quite old, so I think they date from a period when Standard English r was still [r| (as it is in Scotland). All types of /r/ are difficult for small children, and replacing [r] by [l] is extremely common.

    One famous example was Louis XIII (father of Louis XIV), who did so as a child (as documented by the journals of his tutor).

  100. David Marjanović says:

    Stupid Assyrians tried to rule without having Media on its side,

    Thread won.

    One famous example was Louis XIII (father of Louis XIV), who did so as a child (as documented by the journals of his tutor).

    Good point!

  101. So Balthazar, the traditional name for one of the Wise Men in the Nativity story, is the same name as Belshazzar?

    It probably is. However, the names of the magi don’t show up until early Byzantine fan fiction. The Semitic meaning of the name is “Lord [Bel] Protect the King.”

    Cyrus the Great appears in the story after the fictional Darius the Mede. Darius is presumably there to make the story consistent with Jeremiah, who predicted separate Median and Persian conquests.

  102. marie-lucie says:

    The Three Wise Men: in French Les Rois Mages: Melchior, Gaspard et Balthazar

    Melchior is old, and one of the others is black (I don’t remember which one). Melchior and Balthazar have originally Semitic names, but what about Gaspard?

  103. How come the female form of Darius, Daria, was transformed into Dolly? Daria Oblonsky in Anna Karenina is called Dolly.

    Isn’t “Dolly” meant to show that the Oblonskys are upper class Westernizers, borrowing an English style nickname? Normally Daria becomes Dasha, or Daryukha, or some variant along those lines.

  104. yes, that’s what puzzles me. Do they go from Daria to Dorothy, and then to Dolly, or how? Kitty from Ekaterina and Betsy from Elizaveta, I can see, I dig it, but Dolly?

  105. marie-lucie says:

    Daria to Dolly

    Perhaps Daria had had an English governess?

  106. not mine 🙂

  107. Lurking in this thread is the answer to a nice musical trivia question: what one-word title was used for musical compositions of various sizes by Händel, Schumann, and Johnny Cash?

    As for English scholars saying Dar-EYE-us, I still recall my shock in grad school (late ’80s) hearing an elderly British Classics professor pronounce Lucilius (first of the canonical Roman satirists) ‘Loo-SYE-lee-us’. I had always dithered between Loo-SILL-ee-us and Loo-KILL-ee-us, depending on how pedantic I was feeling at the moment. (The vowel in the second syllable is long.)

    As far as I can tell, the traditional rule for pronouncing Greek and Latin names in English is to follow the Greek (or Latin, for Latin words) rules to see which vowels are long and short, the Latin rules for which syllable gets the accent, and then the English rules for the actual pronunciation of the vowels, thus EYE instead of EE for long I. Only thus can you make ‘Orion’ (three long vowels in Greek, with an acute pitch-accent on the iota) sound exactly like ‘O’Ryan’, and ‘Plato’ sound almost exactly like ‘Playdough’. (Another riddle, this one suitable for middle-schoolers: what is the only Irish constellation?)

  108. hearing an elderly British Classics professor pronounce Lucilius (first of the canonical Roman satirists) ‘Loo-SYE-lee-us’.

    Now that’s just silly.

  109. Yes, it’s right in (one pronunciation of) his name: Loo-SILLY-us.

  110. “While Stephen and Hanson were prosing away in French and Latin according to the curious English pronunciation, Jack made a rough draft of his letter.”
    Patrick O’Brian, Blue at the Mizzen.

    (It is Stephen who finds the pronunciation curious – he is accommodating Hanson by adopting it.)

  111. I suppose Stephen would have pronounced Latin in the Catalan tradition.

  112. Eli Nelson says:

    @Michael Hendry: Huh, “Loo-SYE-lee-us” is actually very odd, and I would guess it to be a spelling pronunciation of recent origin rather than one of the traditional ones. Normally “i” is pronounced short before another consonant, an unstressed “i” and another vowel (compare divide and division). I don’t know of any exceptions to that, except for the words that have pronunciation variants with /iː/ like aphrodisiac.

  113. In sixth grade I was taught the story of the Argonauts and was struck by the fact that, according to the book, “Phineus” was pronounced, not FIN-ee-us, but FIE-news. It took me ten years to learn why. Hint: it’s Φινεύς.

  114. Eli Nelson says:

    @Roger C:
    I was first surprised by “Theseus.” I think the same confusion exists for nearly all Greek names ending in “-eus,” aside from “Zeus.” In “Theseus,” it’s compounded for me by the issue of whether to retain the cluster /sj/ (which is quite rare for me as an American English speaker) or drop the /j/ (which I’m not sure would be quite regular in this position). There is a theoretical third option, merging the /j/ with the preceding /s/ to make /ʃ/, but I can’t find any evidence of people actually using that pronunciation for this name.

  115. Eli Nelson:
    The long second I in Lucilius has nothing to do with English rules: it is a long I in Latin (the vowels are long-long-short-short). Latin vowels all come in long and short versions, not usually marked in grown-up texts, where the difference is mostly a matter of duration rather than quality of the sound. Even in proper names, we generally know the quantities, either because they’re used in verse, or because their etymologies are clear. When I say ‘we’ I mean someone knows: for many years I thought the Gallic tribe that lived around Paris, the Sequani, were pronounced Seh-KWAH-nee, but they’re mentioned in Lucan, the E is long and the A short, so when I first read Lucan I was surprised to learn that they’re the SAY-kwah-nee. Which also means I shouldn’t have called the guy Loo-SILL-ee-uhs or Loo-KILL-ee-uhs, rather Loo-SEE-lee-uhs or Loo-KEE-lee-uhs. (This would so much easier if I knew IPA.)

    Rodger C:
    FIE-news for Phineus is another horrible English mispronunciation. In the restored pronunciation he would be something like PEE-neoose. Greek Phi (Latin PH) was not F but an English-style aspirated (is that the word?) P, where Greek Pi (Latin P) was more like a French P. The I is long, so EE. I don’t know any English equivalent for the diphthong in the second syllable but it’s basically the vowels in ‘let’ and ‘put’ mashed together.

    Similarly, Theseus in the restored pronunciation is TAY-seoose, with aspirated T and Greek/Latin long E (= English long A), plus that seh-oose mashed together into a single syllable again. The name has two syllables in Greek and Latin, usually three in English: I’ve always heard it as THEE-see-uhs.

    Jason is the other way around. Greek/Latin Iaso or Iason is actually three syllables: the I is not only not a J, it’s not even a consonant, so not YAH-so or YAH-sone, but ee-AH-so or ee-AH-sone.

  116. Eli Nelson says:

    @Michael Hendry: You’re talking about (restored) Classical Latin and Greek pronunciation, while I was talking about English pronunciation of Latin names and terms. For English pronunciation, traditionally, Latin vowel length has no direct effect at all (because it was already lost by the time traditional English pronunciations started to be established); it only determines the stress. English vowel length is determined by a variety of other considerations, the most important ones being the (orthographical) syllable structure, stress, and the number of syllables.

    I prefer to use traditional pronunciations rather than restored, but that’s a matter of opinion.

    The accent mark in Φινεύς is on the second syllable, and although English stress probably sounds different from Greek pitch accent, doesn’t it make more sense to stress the syllable with the accent in a restored pronunciation? So not really “PEE-neoos” so much as “pee-NEHWS” (approximately).

    Aspirated is the right word for “p” and “t” like in English “pee” and “tee.”

  117. I am talking about restored Classical pronunciation, but also about traditional Classics professors’ pronunciation, where they certainly did know the quantities of the Greek/Latin vowels, and did (not entirely logically) follow them in English while applying English vowel qualities, hence my professor’s Loo-SYE-lee-us. An educated non-Classicist very likely would have called the man Loo-SILL-ee-us.

    And I agree that Phineus was bisyllabic, hence my explanation that the E and the OO in PHI-neoos should be “mashed together” into one syllable. I don’t know how to represent that, since it’s not a sound-combination found in any English word I can think of.

  118. Eli Nelson says:

    @Michael Hendry: That makes sense: a kind of hybrid pronunciation. Sorry, I got confused by the transcription “eoo”; I edited that part out after going back and reading your post more carefully.

  119. marie-lucie says:

    Jason

    in French, the name of the Greek hero ends like maison (house)(with intervocalic -s- as /z/, according to normal spelling rules). In France I have never encountered this name outside of Greek mythology.

    But now that the state no longer pr∂scribes babies’ names and just about anything goes, many people are giving their children names that they hear (but don’t read or would not recognize if written) in badly dubbed American movies and serials. One of the popular boys’ names is “Djézonne” (sic, even though French names in -onne, like Yvonne, are feminine, corresponding to masculines in -on).

  120. The song about the dog has been translated into Hebrew, too (to the tune of Carnival in Venice), with many variants:

    http://www.zemereshet.co.il/song.asp?id=1544 (with a recording).

  121. From the same website, another endless song, “There was a young woman by Lake Kinneret”, adopted from a Ukrainian source, Тече річка невеличка, given at the end, together with the Russian version of the dog song:

    http://www.zemereshet.co.il/song.asp?id=1426

  122. I assume the pronunciation of Greek Phineus is also complicated by confusion with the Biblical character of Phineas. (He is the hero of the episode in Numbers 25, which I noted in a previous thread is obviously cobbled together from two different stories.)

  123. I’ve finally figured out what I associate “redux” with: I think of it as analogous to “recap” (in the sense of “recapitulate” / “recapitulation”). I did not realize that it’s much less common, and that it’s pure Latin rather than a colloquial shortening.

    But judging from all the other comments here, I guess I’m alone in that?

  124. Myself, I always knew about redux as an adjective, but then I knew Astraea Redux (the title) before I ever heard of Rabbit Redux, which was published when I was twenty-three.

    And sure, in sixth grade I looked at “Phineus” and thought “Phineas.”

  125. Which prompts a mention of Trollope’s Phineas Redux, IMHO the worst of the Palliser novels, and if I recall correctly the first place I ever encountered the word “redux.”

  126. My wife and I are coming to the end of Can You Forgive Her?; when we get to that one, I’ll bear your warning in mind.

  127. I still recall my shock in grad school (late ’80s) hearing an elderly British Classics professor pronounce Lucilius (first of the canonical Roman satirists) ‘Loo-SYE-lee-us’.

    Speak of the devil! I just ran across this in the bibliography of a book I’m editing:

    Buechner, Karl. Fragmenta poetarum Latinorum epicorum et lyricorum praeter Ennium et Lucilium. Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1982.

  128. J.W. Brewer says:

    FWIW, a positive review of my candidate for the best Redux-titled work of the 21st century. http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/6815-rocket-redux/. (The band had broken up in 1975 before even recording a debut album, but its legendary cult status remained such that almost three decades letter the survivors finally reassembled in a studio to properly record the old material known only in a handful of lo-fi live recordings and rehearsal tapes.)

  129. That’s really something — I knew of Rocket from the Tombs only (in a vague sort of way) from their part in the prehistory of Pere Ubu (a great band, as advertised). Makes me want to hear their reunion/debut.

  130. Loo-SY-lee-us is exactly what I’d expect, given The Rules. If it were *Lucilliius, then I’d expect loo-SIL-lee-us.

  131. Loo-SY-lee-us is exactly what I’d expect, given The Rules

    No, I’m pretty sure Eli Nelson is correct about traditional English pronunciation. And Loo-SY-lee-us sounds wrongety-wrong-wrong to me (someone who took the trouble to learn The Rules as a young pedant-in-training) in a way that simple false quantity wouldn’t.

  132. Sir JCass says:

    known only in a handful of lo-fi live recordings and rehearsal tapes

    I’ve got one of those: Life Stinks on “Jack Slack Records”. It’s on vinyl so I haven’t been able to play it for years. Didn’t realise it was a bootleg until I went online and found Pere Ubu were threatening to sue anyone who tried to sell it on e-Bay. I think it’s a radio broadcast from 1975. It contains a few early versions of Ubu songs (the title track plus “30 Seconds Over Tokyo”) and starts with an interview with Peter Laughner telling the kids to get it together and just do their thing if they want to form a band in Cleveland. He sounds pretty wasted.

  133. J.W. Brewer says:

    Sir JCass: the 21st century “official” release of the master tapes used for that WMMS broadcast (along with some other archival stuff) is this: http://www.ubuprojex.com/hearpen/rfttday.html.

    This past May my firstborn child took an old (late 1980’s) Pere Ubu concert t-shirt out of my closet and wore it to school. She had no notion of who the band had been or what they sounded like — she apparently just thought it looked cool and would make a positive impression on her fellow 9th graders (or that subset she wished to impress). Like getting a tattoo in Chinese characters without knowing what it says? While driving her to school I played her the original 1976 single version of “Final Solution” for her edification, but she was impassive and reactionless in that way that teenage girls can sometimes be when they want to.

  134. “I’ll bear your warning in mind.”

    You may utterly disagree – don’t let me prejudice you against it!

  135. Sir JCass says:

    I played her the original 1976 single version of “Final Solution” for her edification

    It’s your fault for not starting her off on something poppy and accessible like “Sentimental Journey”.

    I still have The Modern Dance on limited edition cassette no less. I’m going to be a rich man once the kids get bored with the vinyl revival and rediscover the joys of spooling metres of mangled tape back into its casing with an old biro.

  136. It’s your fault for not starting her off on something poppy and accessible like “Sentimental Journey”.

    I still vividly remember the time (thirty years ago) when I wanted to introduce a music-loving friend to the greatness of the Mekons and I made the unfortunate decision to give historical background by playing their first single, “Never Been in a Riot.” (Which is terrible.) He hated it so much he flat-out refused to listen to anything else, and I was unable to share with him the glorious Fear and Whiskey (whose grooves I wore out in the mid-’80s).

  137. J.W. Brewer says:

    SirJCass: there actually is now a bit of a cassette revival amongst the hipsters who think the vinyl revival has become too mainstream, as I discovered last fall when I poked my head into a hipster record store in … I think Oakland but maybe Berkeley. Which I find hilarious because back in the day I always looked down on cassettes as being almost as unhip as 8-track cartridges (I thought cassette-only labels like ROIR were willfully eccentric rather than ultra-cool).

    And the mention of the Mekons is an excuse to post this video clip from a show I happened to be at last year, where everything falls apart about 1:40 in. During the ensuing confusion while the roadies are trying to resolve the situation, a language usage debate breaks out onstage, with Sally Timms complaining that Susie Honeyman is always trying to correct her (Sally’s) grammar in a prescriptivist kind of way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z0P1hu1ljM

  138. Cassette-only in my experience was (proto-)indie, because anyone could make, and practically anyone could duplicate, cassettes. That meant there was zero quality control — which, not to put too fine a point on it, is the activity of ensuring that the number of defects not only do not exceed a maximum but also do exceed a minimum.

  139. No excuse needed; that was delightful!

  140. J.W. Brewer says:

    BTW, the New York Times obit of the founder of ROIR offers this illuminating explanation: “The label adopted the cassette format because many of its artists were already signed to exclusive contracts with other record labels; but cassettes, often of live recordings or other miscellany, did not violate their contracts, said [the decedent’s son] Lucas Cooper, who has taken over the business.” http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/23/arts/neil-cooper-71-who-founded-a-rock-and-reggae-record-label.html

  141. I wonder if I still have some ROIR cassettes somewhere or if they all disappeared in the course of my many moves.

  142. Sir JCass says:

    I made the unfortunate decision to give historical background by playing their first single, “Never Been in a Riot.”

    Ha. I had the same experience. Had that on an indie compilation tape which came free with the NME. I’m now beginning to wonder whether it wasn’t some journalist’s revenge on bands who’d humiliated him in interviews. Each track seems to have been lovingly selected to show their music in the worst possible light.

    I always looked down on cassettes as being almost as unhip as 8-track cartridges

    Vinyl was certainly cooler but the radio/cassette player was the stock-in-trade of the student before portable CD-players appeared. If I bought vinyl I had to wait till I got home to hear it. Also you didn’t always have the choice which format you had with indie/alternative music – if there was a copy in the shop you snapped it up regardless as it might be your only chance of hearing the damn thing. That’s why I bought the “Collector’s Edition (sic!) of 1000″ cassette of The Modern Dance. I had to spend months scanning the minuscule print of Record Collector before I could locate a second-hand vinyl copy of Dub Housing. Hipsters today don’t know they’re born.

    Perversely, the only ROIR stuff I had was on CD.

  143. David Marjanović says:

    hearing an elderly British Classics professor pronounce Lucilius (first of the canonical Roman satirists) ‘Loo-SYE-lee-us’.

    Now that’s just silly.

    ^ Further evidence for the globally unusual English preference for CVC syllables. Not knowing the Latin length of the first i, I accidentally guessed it from syllabifying the good man as Lu.ci.li.us and applying the German (and very much not Latin) rule that vowels in stressed open syllables are long.

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