How does one pronounce these words?


(If there are any other words commonly used here that you don't know how to pronounce, mention them in the comments and I'll copy them into the post, to make a handy reference.)

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13 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 1:07 PM

I'm more worried about the words that I don't know that I don't know how to pronounce.

Thiel (as in Peter). ("t" or "th"?)

I'm interested in how Luke pronounces Muehlhauser. It is a very German sounding name. But I doubt he pronounces it the way that I would pronounce it, i.e. Mühlhauser.

My own family name, Kruel, is almost always being pronounced wrong since "ue" is usually replaced with "ü" here in Germany. My family name is a special case though, it is pronounced like the English "cruel".

Here are some words that have been mispronounced by prominent LWers in online videos:

  • hypocritical (should be like "hippopotamus", not like "hypothermia")
  • prestige (stress should be on second syllable, whose vowel is "ee" )

In the first two the o's are long and the u's and e's are short. "Mode"- "us" (like the english words) "Pone" (long o), "Toll" (as in booth) "enz".

Hofstadter I've heard pronounced with the second 't' silent and the 'a' pronounced as a short 'e'. The 'o' is short. Hoff- stedder. Jaynes, I believe is just a long 'a', silent e. Parfit is "par" as in "par for the course" and "fit" as in "you should exercise to get fit".

Moar liek modus pwnens. "Fool just got modus pwned!" (Though modus tollens tends to pwn more in practice... logic doesn't make any sense.)


Upvoted, asking around for stuff like this on Lesswrong seems an easy way to get such knowledge. In the past I've speculated about the signalling of mispronunciation so I'm pretty interested in the kind of stuff people tend to mangle.

Approximations by Google Translate (click on the "listen" icon on the right):

Modus Tollens (Latin) Modus Ponens (Latin) Hofstadter (German) Jaynes (English) Deutsch (German)

I'm quite impressed by the quality of Google Translate; the pronunciations match well what I envision based on my modest Latin and German knowledge.

I'm not sure about "Parfit"'s linguistic origins. As a random shot at it, here is a French version with silent "t".

I'd also like to do some service in favor of poor Csíkszentmihályi.

Other Hungarian fellows: Erdős, Szilárd.

Huh, the English parser ignores special marks completely, leading to notably awful pronunciations of those. Except for Csíkszentmihályi, funnily.

Did you click on the listen icons on the right side, those that activate the Hungarian parser? I'm Hungarian and Google's "Erdős" and "Szilárd" are basically indistinguishable from common speech versions, while "Csíkszentmihályi" has only one minor flaw, namely that it leaves a bit too much space between Csík and szent.