[Taxacom] Help sought - re. spelling of Rhamnoides.

S.R.Edwards sean.r.edwards at btinternet.com
Sat Dec 29 16:26:05 CST 2007

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Peter Bostock
  To: sean.r.edwards at btinternet.com
  Sent: Friday, December 28, 2007 6:37 AM
  Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Help sought - re. spelling of Rhamnoides.

  Dear Sean,
  You may have missed my message on 23 Dec - which did indeed quote Stearn! 
Cheers, Peter

Whoops Peter, I did -- and it did! Sorry.

Still, this ought to leave us with an agreement that -oides should 
effectively be pronounced as in adenoid, whatever Stearn says (pp. 
257/8: -oi-, each having a little cup-mark over them, indicating distinct 
short vowels, not 'oh-eye'), simply because in normal speech you cannot 
labour this particular distinction without introducing an unnatural 
hesitation between the vowels*.  So here, Thomas Lammer's suggestion 
"ram-no-EYE-dees not ram-NOI-dees" is wrong, as the vowels are both short, 
and this is what most (Anglo/American) people say.

Unfortunately, I now note that Stearn also says (p. 52) that: "In Latin 
every vowel is pronounced [...] The same applies to the Latinized Greek 
ending -o-i'-des (not -oides) [...]."  And here he indicates a short -o-, 
and a long accented -i'-. So here the suggestion "ram-no-EYE-dees not 
ram-NOI-dees" is right, at least for the -EYE-.

Is there a misprint in Stearn, or is he contradicting himself?

Now, how many people pronounce (in practice) Aloë as in the names Chloë or 
Zoë? And a brief search of recent literature does not find a single use of 
the diaeresis mark here, though it often does in the names!


* maybe, if you just think of -oides as -o-ides as you say it, even with 
short vowels, there is a useful hint of a distinction in the sound?


Sean Edwards, Vine Cottage, The Street, Thursley, Surrey GU8 6QF, UK
sean.r.edwards at btinternet.com
tel: 01252-702-890 cell: 07768-706-295 

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