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Words for the movies
Posted: 26 October 2017 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I found this (from 2011):

In looking at primary sources on early film, I’m finding the term `kinema’ coming up just as frequently as the usual `cinema’. `Cinematograph’ seems to have been the standard term in the very early days, then `Kinema’ pops up in around 1910-11, is then used interchangeably with `cinema’ - or, if anything, becomes more common - before dying out in the late 1940s. From then onwards (and quite possibly, the whole time), there seems a tendency to use it slightly pretentiously. For example, arthouse cinemas tended to describe themselves as `kinemas’, and continued doing so even when the spelling had fallen out of use.

(Don’t bother reading the subsequent discussion, which is chock-full of ludicrous misunderstanding of the history of pronunciation and usage.)

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Posted: 27 October 2017 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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languagehat - 26 October 2017 05:33 AM

It would not have been “pretension” to use the traditional pronunciation

It would not have been pretentious to use the traditional pronunciation, but it would have been to claim it was pronouncing cinema in accordance with its Greek roots.

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Posted: 27 October 2017 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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No it wouldn’t, since traditional pronunciation is based in part on Greek and Latin vowel length.

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Posted: 28 October 2017 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Just to be clear, I’m not claiming that “in accordance with the Greek roots” were the professor’s words verbatim. It may have been Clarke’s explanation, or I may have interpolated it myself.  I do believe the professor thought that pronunciation was in keeping with scholarly pronunciation the classical languages, but I don’t think that’s pretension if that’s the community he lives and works in.

[ Edited: 28 October 2017 01:11 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 28 October 2017 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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lh: No it wouldn’t, since traditional pronunciation is based in part on Greek and Latin vowel length.

One of the many things I greatly regret never getting my head around is quantity in Latin and Greek verse to enable me to stop reading the Aeneid as if it were stressed English verse. But “what’s long or short, each accent where to place” remains a mystery to me.

I do remember someone or other pronouncing cinema as kinema. It was on TV in the early 60s and I’m pretty sure it was Malcolm Muggeridge, who was very much a traditionalist in his pronunciation. Fascinating to see that bioscope was used in S. Africa, I wasn’t aware of that at all.

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Posted: 29 October 2017 05:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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One of the many things I greatly regret never getting my head around is quantity in Latin and Greek verse

You clearly were not taught Latin by the terrifying Brother Auger.

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Posted: 29 October 2017 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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aldiboronti - 28 October 2017 11:58 AM

lh: No it wouldn’t, since traditional pronunciation is based in part on Greek and Latin vowel length.

One of the many things I greatly regret never getting my head around is quantity in Latin and Greek verse to enable me to stop reading the Aeneid as if it were stressed English verse. But “what’s long or short, each accent where to place” remains a mystery to me.

I do remember someone or other pronouncing cinema as kinema. It was on TV in the early 60s and I’m pretty sure it was Malcolm Muggeridge, who was very much a traditionalist in his pronunciation. Fascinating to see that bioscope was used in S. Africa, I wasn’t aware of that at all.

You say that you heard him pronounce cinema as kinema, but kinema was a word in its own right. OED has seven cites for this noun (which is flags as “now rare”. The last of them is from 1974. It’s possible that early 1960s Muggeridge was just saying kinema.

OED gives the first pronunciation for kinema as /ˈkɪnɪmə/, but a second pronunciation as /kʌɪˈniːmə/. Good lord.

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