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word sought
Posted: 01 February 2014 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Just so, linonello. The naive scientist seems more American than British, to me, which makes me feel it is an American story.

I think the fact that it has survived is more a testament to it’s value as a cautionary tale than it’s veracity.

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Posted: 01 February 2014 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Dave writes:

That’s glucinum.

Please note, Dave, that glucium is taken directly from your Big List entry, in which you quote Davy (accurately, I hope--the OED quotes it the same) as spelling it that way.

This version of the element’s name seems to have suffered the same instability as that of Al, before finally being abandoned in favor of beryllium. Glucium, glucinum, and glucinium can all be found.  Given the former variability of the spelling and the present obsoleteness of the name, I would avoid being too self-assured about “correcting” other people’s spelling.

[ Edited: 01 February 2014 01:23 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 02 February 2014 04:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Yes, glucium is the oldest form, used by Davy. He later amended it to glucinum.

But the OED entry is under glucinum, which appears to be the more common form.

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Posted: 03 February 2014 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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languagehat - 29 January 2014 07:07 AM

I recently found from a dictionary that mien rhymes with mean.

Well, is identical in sound; that’s not usually considered a proper rhyme in English.

I pronounced it mee-en in my bonce though i wouldn’t have chien or rien because I had not thought it through. It just looked vaguely French. The i is the key element also, as stated, in mischievous. People transpose the read i such that I heard someone say hay-nee-uss for heinous. I have also heard hee-nuss and hee-nee-uss.

I’ve got pretty much every Irish first name I’ve read wrong, too, except for familiar ones like Sean and Sian eg Padraig, Sinead, Roisin, Siobhan. When I first read the Anglo-Nigerian singer Sade’s name I assumed it was a play on the Marquis de. And Dr Dre. French acute accents would have helped in both cases.

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Posted: 03 February 2014 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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French acute accents would have helped in both cases.

I think you’re right to feel aggrieved.  Accents (and other diacritical signs) are just as much guides to pronunciation as are letters.  All right, they’re not used in English --- but when one’s writing, in English, a foreign word which is spelt with an accent, to omit the accent is to mis-spell the word; one might just as well omit a letter. If I’m reading in English about, say, Ambroise Paré, I’d expect the writer (even if he/she were a journalist) to accentuate the é (the same goes for Esmé Percy --- an English actor, as it happens, whose name is spelt with an é).
Sadé is a word of foreign origin. it’s a contraction of the singer’s name, which (according to Wikipedia) appears to be a Nigerian name (in a language I don’t know), spelt with Latin letters using two accents. The lady’s an English singer, but if she wants her name pronounced Sadé, she should use an accent, even when writing the name in English.
Call me petulant if you like --- but If I were reading a menu offering me coffee frappe, I think I’d feel inclined to order my refreshment elsewhere. Of course, lots of people would think I’m just talking crappe. I’m quite happé with that.

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