[TUHS] Unix, eunuchs?
wb at freebie.xs4all.nl
Tue Jun 6 00:26:43 AEST 2006
On Mon, Jun 05, 2006 at 04:14:02PM +0200, Andrzej Popielewicz wrote..
> John Cowan napisa??(a):
> >Andrzej Popielewicz scripsit:
> >>eunuch is "'yunek"
> >>unit is "'yunet"
> >>unique is "yu'nek,yu'nik"
> >>You can notice, that unix , more similar to unit or unique will be
> >>pronounced differently(?).
> >English is a vowel-reduction language, like Russian or Portuguese;
> >vowels in unstressed syllables tend to be reduced either to schwa or to
> >lax short i. Because the anglophone countries broke up politically before
> >language standardization could take effect, there is no single standard
> >pronunciation worldwide, nor any fixed hierarchy of standards.
> >Therefore, one must consider both dialects in which the unstressed short
> >i and the unstressed schwa both become schwa, and ones where they do not.
> >In the former dialects, "Unix" and "eunuchs" sound exactly alike; in
> >the latter dialects, there is a small difference.
> OK, so I have learned something about English.
> >(As Tim Bradshaw notes, "unique" is stressed on the second syllable,
> >so there is no vowel reduction on that syllable.)
> It is and it was quite obvious for me before, I agree with You both,I
> found only words with similar pronounciation(neglecting stress).
> >>I suspect , that if the pronounciation were be same many people would
> >>have noticed it before.
> >I am quite certain that many people have. It was perfectly obvious to me
> >the first time I saw the word "Unix" written, and that was in 1976 or so.
> Well, I cannot "reproduce it" in my mind this funny feeling I suspect,
> as not natively Enlish speaking.
> Hopefully it helped the Unix .Does it cause the smile every time You
> hear it ?
> Even now knowing it I will probably ,hearing or reading the word "Unix",
> not associate it with "eunuch".Probably because I have coded Polish
> pronounciation in my mind, or in other words I mostly think in Polish.
FWIW and to clutter the discussion:
in Dutch Unix is pronounced like "Uniks", eunuch as "Eu-neug". So the funny
implications were completely lost on me until now.
Wilko Bulte wilko at FreeBSD.org
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