Word of the Day

Thursday, August 26, 2010

orthoepy

\awr-THOH-uh-pee\ , noun;
1.
The study of correct pronunciation.
2.
The study of the relationship between the pronunciation of words and their orthography.
Quotes:
Another etymology, still more ancient, and sanctioned by the countenance of our ever to be-lamented Dutch ancestors, is that found in certain letters still extant, which passed between the early governors and their neighboring powers, wherein it is called indifferently Monhattoes, Munhatos, and Manhattoes, which are evidently unimportant variations of the same name; for our wise forefathers set little store by those niceties either in orthography or orthoepy, which form the sole study and ambition of many learned men and women of this hypercritical age.
-- Washington Irving, Knickerbocker's History of New York
Any one could then spell any word if he knew its pronunciation; the battle would shift to the field of orthoepy; and about such groups of words as "fog," "dog," "god," "grass," "gas," "path," "can't" and the like, which would vary in spelling with different styles of utterance, would flame up internecine wars.
-- Samuel McCoy, "Memory," The Reader, December, 1906.
Origin:
Orthoepy is essentially a modification of the Greek orthoepeia, literally "correctness of diction."
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