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Old 07-09-2010, 02:08 AM
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Zeke Zeke is offline
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I'm mostly with Nate on this one, actually. Dictionaries are one thing -- as long as the pronunciation chart is right at the start (preferably the inside cover), I don't mind the funny symbols, since they're more precise. But the way Wikipedia does it has been bugging me for some time. Not only do most articles not have pronunciation guides, even for foreign names, but the ones that do use IPA and usually don't link to the chart! How hard would it be to do that? The IPA symbols are not remotely intuitive to an English-speaker; using them without linking to their meanings is worse than useless.

When I want to convey a pronunciation to someone quickly, I use Nate's method. If I say that the mathematician Cauchy often gets his name mispronounced -- that people say "COE-shee" when they should say "coe-SHEE" (he was French) -- you know right away what I mean. But I understand why a dictionary would want to be more formal.

(Btw, Cauchy is reputedly the mathematician whose name is on the most things, so this is a real problem.)
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