1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Correct pronunciation of the plural ‘minutiae’

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 15, 2014.

    Can we pronounce the plural of minutia (muh-NOO’-shuh), which is minutiae, the same way? In other words, can minutiae also be pronounced muh-NOO’-shuh, instead of muh-NOO'-shee-ee, as dictionaries suggest? I don't think I've ever heard a person pronounce the plural minutiae as muh-NOO'-shee-ee. For the plural they say muh-NOO'-shuh. Are you in agreement with this plural pronunciation?

    Plural pronunciation example:
    a printer caring greatly for the minutiae (pronounced muh-NOO'-shuh [not muh-NOO'-shee-ee] of his craft

    Thank you. :)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Both the Oxford and the Webster's insist on the 4-syllable pronunciation of minutiae. However, the Oxford's listing is interesting. It gives the pronunciation as [mi-nyoo-shi-ee]. If you say this quickly, it comes out as minyooshee. Which is probably close enough to your three-syllable word, only it ends in -ee, not -uh.

    Interesting as well, that both my 1980s-era Webster's and my brand-new Oxford do NOT list minutia as a defininable word that's still in usage. Both list minutia as the singular form of minutiae, but it's the plural that is the defined word in both lexicons. This would lead me to believe that minutia is a word that's seldom, if ever, used.

    And thanks again, @dillseed , for inspiring me to order the Oxford. I'm already discovering differences between British and American English that I didn't know existed. Fun.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thank you.
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Nae bother!
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the most common pronunciation ends with an 'ee-uh' sound similar to the 2nd and 3rd syllables of 'area' or blended into a single 'yah' sound...

    the oed's 'ee' ending makes no sense to me, since 'ae' in latin is pronounced 'ay'... as in 'say'... but then, the british are not known for being good with other languages... ;) and, to be fair, neither are many americans...
     
  6. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks. :)
     

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