How do you pronounce "centimeter" ??? - page 4
by shermrn 5,272 Views | 46 Comments
Not a big deal but something that bothers me. I run into a lot of nurses who pronounce the word centimeter as sontimeter.... Read More
- 0Nov 12, '12 by brilloheadQuote from GrnTeaI had to LOL at your typo... age = agre = ogre?I resemble that agre group, although there are still some of us out here who don't have formal teaching jobs. I am assuming you're making this descriptor pejorative, but please correct me if I'm jumping to take offense too easily.
Maybe more of us older folks have broader educations in the liberal arts For which I make no apology.
And I went to a college mumblemumble years ago where we were taught in metric. Perhaps the hospitals here are more progressive than they are in Michigan. Eh?
But nope, it wasn't meant to be pejorative at all (I'm one of the oldest in my ADN program at 43yo, and I use your "mumblemumble years ago" phrase from time to time myself!) - it's simply a descriptor. The "younger" instructors (40s and 50s) in my program all say "sent", and the only two who I've heard say "sont" are on the slightly more mature side. Some of them went the Diploma to BSN to MSN route, some of them went the ADN to BSN to MSN route, and some went the BSN to MSN route, so I have no idea if there was a particular program/instructor that instilled the "sont" pronunciation in them, or if they brought it with them prior to their nursing careers.
I know that back in the 1970s when I was taught the metric program in elementary school, it was "sent"-imeters. And when my 12yo son went through elementary school a few years ago, it was still "sent"-imeters. But I took four years of French in high school, so when my two "sont"-imeter instructors used that pronunciation, I knew exactly what they meant.
I wonder if the "sont" pronunciation was put forth in certain regions to distinguish between "deci" and "centi" when spoken? Obviously they don't look anything alike, but when spoken they might be mistaken for each other? Or just the French/Cajun influence from the Northern/Southern regions?
Things that make you go hmmmmmm......
- 3Nov 12, '12 by MunoRNThere are thousands of words in the English language that are French in origin, if we gave each a French inflection you'd have a hard time completing a sentence without an oddly placed Fronch accent. If something costs $2.50, do you say "two dollars and fifty sahnts"? Is that thing crawling up your arm a "sahntipede"?
I thought this was a good description of the issue; (From The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations)
"centimeter SEN-ti-MEE-turMainly, it's just poor communication. I spent the better part of a shift after I first heard it trying to figure out how to convert sonometers into centimeters.
Some speakers insist on pronouncing the word SAHN-ti-MEE-tur, with the first syllable rhyming with don. This eccentric French-English hybrid is based on the French pronunciation of centimetre, the source of the word...
Centimeter - along with centigrade, centigram, and centiliter - entered English way back in 1801 and has been fully anglicized for well over a hundred years: Funk and Wagnalls Standard (1897) and the Century (1914) give only Sen-ti-MEE-tur. Today, unless you're French or lamely attempting to speak French, there's no excuse for affecting a French pronunciation of these established English words. The weight of authority overwhelmingly favors SEN-ti-MEE-tur...Centimeter, says Garner (2003), "is sometimes, in medical jargon, given a precious pronunciation: SAHN-ti-MEE-tur. Avoid this."
- 0Nov 12, '12 by SummitRNQuote from GrnTeaIt is an SI unit that came from metric, but the metric prefix system, including centi- prefix, is LATIN not French. (Yes, French is a romance language, but we don't say other French derived words that way). We do not pronounce direct-Latin derivations with French pronunciation, particularly if the word has been present in English for centuries.Interestingly, the metric system (including the centimeter) originated in France, so it really is "sont-i-meter" (there is a "T" sound in that) in the first place. Really liking word origins, I stick to that.
Mathematicians, scientists, and engineers do not say "sont-i." Neither do the British.
We strive for clarity in communication to avoid error and confusion, so I'd argue that "sohn" is a confusing pronunciation ought to be discarded even if it were the more proper pronunciation, which it is not.