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Slang/Shorthand "Orchid Speak" -- or "What on Earth does this term mean?"

This is a discussion on Slang/Shorthand "Orchid Speak" -- or "What on Earth does this term mean?" within the General Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hehee... this has been a very informative and enjoyable thread! About the pronunciation of "Hawaii," ...

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  1. #51
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    Hehee... this has been a very informative and enjoyable thread! About the pronunciation of "Hawaii," what I remember from visiting was that the locals pronounced it Haw-uh-ee, and the second syllable was sort of clipped-sounding. I'm not sure how that quite evolved... I've heard the reference to Ha-vie-ee before, so perhaps different people on the various islands pronounce it differently depending on their heritage.

    Okay... so a few more pronunciation questions. I had always thought "stonei" was pronounced like "stone-eye," (emphasis on first syllable) so I'm quite glad to be corrected on THAT particular one... otherwise I would have had an embarrassing moment in a nursery at some point for sure.

    So would you mind clearing up a couple more confusing phal names? The worst for me is Phal mariae. Is it "mar-ee-ay?" Is it "ma-rye-uh" like, um, Mariah Carey? I'm lost on that one.

    The other one that bugs me is Phal bastianii. I always thought it was "bast-chee-ahn-ee," but by the rules of "lowii," it would be, uh... "bast-chee-ahn-ee-eye?" That's a lot of syllables....

    And my Phal lobbii would be a "lob-ee-eye" too?

  2. #52
    Michael Saar is offline Senior Member
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    If you Google "scientific name pronunciation", you will find several guides that are mostly consistent.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Hehee... this has been a very informative and enjoyable thread! About the pronunciation of "Hawaii," what I remember from visiting was that the locals pronounced it Haw-uh-ee, and the second syllable was sort of clipped-sounding.
    "Clipped" is a nice descriptor. I do know what you mean although, again, with that in mind, I would have said the pronunciation was "ha-WUH-ee" (one of the newscasters over there pronounced it that way). Never heard any of the locals place the stress on the first syllable when I lived over there.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    The worst for me is Phal mariae. Is it "mar-ee-ay?" Is it "ma-rye-uh" like, um, Mariah Carey?

    The other one that bugs me is Phal bastianii. I always thought it was "bast-chee-ahn-ee," but by the rules of "lowii," it would be, uh... "bast-chee-ahn-ee-eye?" That's a lot of syllables....

    And my Phal lobbii would be a "lob-ee-eye" too?
    If memory serves (and apologies to my Latin teachers if it does not):
    "mar-ee--eye"
    "bastee-an-ee-eye"
    "lob-ee-eye"

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post
    Well, since the topic was brought up -- albeit obliquely -- the correct pronunciation of "Hawaii" is "ha-VIE-ee" (the second syllable is where the stress should be placed). My understanding is that a German wrote the Hawaiian language down (Hawaiians did not have a written language). In German, "w" is pronounced as a "v" is in English. While many locals will pronounce "Hawaii" as "ha-WIE-ee", others ... particularly the ethnic Hawaiians ... pronounce it the first way I wrote it.



    Been far too long since I had to worry about all the ins and outs of Latin (and there are a lot of them ... it really became quite a complex language as it evolved over time). As Yew stated, the second "i" at the end is pronounced as an "eye" whereas the one immediate preceding it is pronounced as an "ee". Now as far as "stonei" goes, I have always heard it pronounced "stone-ee-eye". However, given the preponderance of mispronounced words that are rampant in their usage (such as keiki), it would not surprise me if that pronunciation of "stonei" is also incorrect. As I mentioned, it has been a long time since I had to recall all the correct Latin grammar and pronunciation rules. But, from what I seem to recall, the "e" in Latin was not pronounced as "ee" which would -- if correct -- make the "common" pronunciation of "stonei" wrong.

    While I understand Kirk's point, at the same time I have to say that one should make a point of learning the correct pronunciation of the words one uses. (For that matter I will make the same argument as to learning how to correctly spell the words one uses. It DOES matter.) If you discover you are pronouncing a word incorrectly, yes a bit of embarrassment is often the normal reaction though it needn't be. Take the correction as a chance to improve your knowledge.

    I could not/would not have said it better myself. I believe that stone-ee-eye is correct - as well as pearcei, and lobbii. Just to make things more complicated, I was taught in Latin that the suffix -ae is also pronounced somewhere between "ay" and "eye". Go figure. But remember that Latin is the language where the letter V can be pronounced as either w as in "wow" or v as in "vow". I personally have a pet peeve with people who pronounce Cattleya as "Cattalaya". And I have had arguments with people over the correct pronunciation of Neofinetia, which in Latin would be Knee-oh-fin-ett-ee-a. And then there are, of course, the Latin plurals - which, it seems to me, are ignored in taxonomical use - i.e., Paphiopedilums, as opposed to "Paphiopedila"; Cattleyas, as opposed to Cattleyae, Phalaenopsises as opposed to Phalaenopses. But what do I know... worth noting: the Oxford English Dictionary has THE correct phonetic pronunciation of every word in the English language (barring, I suppose, "ain't" and various more offensive current incorrect language use.) On my soapbox here.... you wouldn't believe how many lawyers can't pronounce "quod erat demonstrandum" (never mind use the abbreviation), or "res ipsa loquitur", or "no lo contendere", or "sua sponte", or "prima facie" - never mind actually using them appropriately - but that's for another day, and probably another forum.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Hehee... this has been a very informative and enjoyable thread! About the pronunciation of "Hawaii," what I remember from visiting was that the locals pronounced it Haw-uh-ee, and the second syllable was sort of clipped-sounding. I'm not sure how that quite evolved... I've heard the reference to Ha-vie-ee before, so perhaps different people on the various islands pronounce it differently depending on their heritage.

    Okay... so a few more pronunciation questions. I had always thought "stonei" was pronounced like "stone-eye," (emphasis on first syllable) so I'm quite glad to be corrected on THAT particular one... otherwise I would have had an embarrassing moment in a nursery at some point for sure.

    So would you mind clearing up a couple more confusing phal names? The worst for me is Phal mariae. Is it "mar-ee-ay?" Is it "ma-rye-uh" like, um, Mariah Carey? I'm lost on that one.

    The other one that bugs me is Phal bastianii. I always thought it was "bast-chee-ahn-ee," but by the rules of "lowii," it would be, uh... "bast-chee-ahn-ee-eye?" That's a lot of syllables....

    And my Phal lobbii would be a "lob-ee-eye" too?
    See my discourse, above - or supra, if you will.

  6. #56
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    Here are some Latin botanical terms and their meaning.
    Latin Botanical Terms, Latin Terminology: Botany

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post
    "Clipped" is a nice descriptor. I do know what you mean although, again, with that in mind, I would have said the pronunciation was "ha-WUH-ee" (one of the newscasters over there pronounced it that way). Never heard any of the locals place the stress on the first syllable when I lived over there.
    DOH!!

    Pavel, that's what I meant to write... "ha-WUH-ee" (I've never heard anyone place the emphasis on the first syllable either). Apparently I made a fatal mistake in a thread about correct pronunciations: I failed to properly identify which syllable had the emphasis!

    In my earlier posts I was trying to indicate emphasis by putting the emphasized syllable in italics. I suppose it should have been capitalized instead. Ah, well... at any rate, I'm glad I'm not the only person who has heard the locals say "ha-WUH-ee." Actually, when I went there and heard the locals referring to it as "ha-WUH-ee," I started to pronounce it that way as well so I didn't come across as an ignorant tourist. I still pronounce it "ha-WUH-ee," depending on whose company I'm in. (Although I do revert back to the "mainland" pronunciation if I think there's a chance that the people I'm with might hear me say it differently and look at me as if I'd failed 3rd grade geography).

    If memory serves (and apologies to my Latin teachers if it does not):
    "mar-ee--eye"
    "bastee-an-ee-eye"
    "lob-ee-eye"
    Thank you!!! And thanks to everyone who posted the names of places I can go to look up the pronunciations of all things scientific! I will definitely check them out next time I'm a tad confused about a name... although what I've just learned has already cleared up quite a few pronunciation mysteries.

  8. #58
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    A slightly different take on pronunciation of latin binomials based on modern place and personal names, just my opinion...

    Latin pronunciation is certainly different for a scholar of Romance languages vs. an old English schoolmaster vs. a Catholic priest in Italy. And even the most 'correct' accepted version can at best represent Latin as it was spoken at a particular place and time in the long and widespread history of the language, dialects of which went on to become Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and many more. What is technically correct isn't as important as what is understandable.

    And there are many letter and sound combinations that just don't exist in classical Latin. warczewiczii? There simply is no 'correct' Latin pronunciation. It also isn't unreasonable to make the pronunciation reflect the correct pronunciation of the person or place being honored or noted. Should we pronounce Brassavola the way a Latin scholar says we should, or politely defer to the way Signore Brassavola himself would have said it? So... stonei, named for someone named Stone, stone-eye or stone-ee-eye? You decide. (And I'll definitely let you figure out warczewiczii for yourselves.)

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Actually, when I went there and heard the locals referring to it as "ha-WUH-ee," I started to pronounce it that way as well so I didn't come across as an ignorant tourist. I still pronounce it "ha-WUH-ee," depending on whose company I'm in. (Although I do revert back to the "mainland" pronunciation if I think there's a chance that the people I'm with might hear me say it differently and look at me as if I'd failed 3rd grade geography).
    I actually have to make a conscious effort to mispronounce Hawaii in order to say it like mainlanders do -- and it usually does not register for me to do so until I either see the puzzlement on a person's face or they actually say "What?". And even then it feels incredibly awkward to do so. Oh and while still on the subject, due to the "clipped" nature of that second syllable (as I said, quite a good descriptor, "clipped"), even with the "v" instead of the "w" sound it does sound rather like "ha-VUH-ee" as clipping the sound gives the "i" a little more of a short "i" sound. (Less like a drawn out "eye" and more like the "i' in "it" with a bit of the "eye" in the mix. One really has to pay attention when listening for it.)

    As far as folks I'm with wondering why I'm saying it differently then they are used to, I just use the opportunity to politely educate them as to the correct pronunciation. I do the same thing with words like "keiki" -- I refuse to cave in to the misspoken masses. heh

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavel View Post
    I refuse to cave in to the misspoken masses. heh


    I would have PAID to see you in a debate with former president George W. Bush over the pronunciation of "nuclear."

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