[Home]Cacoepy

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CacoŽpy.
A delightful word, meaning "the mispronunciation of words".
And how does one pronounce it? --CH

I've often wondered: what's the point of putting diacritics on unfamiliar words with no other context or pronunciation guidance? Since (correct me if I am wrong!) modern English gives no generally accepted meaning to such marks, all it does is tell me that the e is not pronounced how it normally would be; I assume [this], which is the meaning of that mark most familiar to me, is not the intended pronunciation either. If I have come across the word before, I already know how it is pronounced. If I have not, the mark gives me no information other than to tell me that, in a rather elitist Mao / Mornington Crescent-like fashion, whatever I do I will likely be wrong since I do not know the rule the writer had in mind. If the language of origin is known, as with German or French loanwords or when reading Chinese transliteration, and does ascribe meaning to the marks - note how accents and hats mean different things in French loanwords, Chinese transliteration and Welsh! - information is imparted; but in cases where uneducated me has no clue... well, thoughts? - MoonShadow
AFAIK the standard meaning of a diaresis over a vowel in English is that it is pronounced separately, as opposed to forming a diphthong with the adjacent vowel. You occasionally see one over the second o in cooperation, to indicate that it's not pronounced like "coop". SeeAlso ZoŽ, ChloŽ etc. Without looking it up, I would assume that cacoŽpy is pronounced kak-OH-e-pee (or possibly kak-OH-ee-pee - not much difference between the two as the third syllable would be unstressed either way). --Rachael
Ah, OK. I stand corrected. In my defence, I don't remember ever being taught that, and this is the first time I have encountered it (though I have seen umlauts in German loanwords lots of times). Hm.  Guess it's probably just my non-nativeness showing then. - MoonShadow
I'd never heard that rule either, if it helps. --Vitenka
I believe Rachael is right about the rule, but it is regarded as archaic - after all, how often do you see it used in words like cooperate these days?  Apparently it was once standard. --MJ
Ooh, another use of the diaresis to indicate that the vowel is pronounced separately, in a specific word I'd never seen it in before. [This article], whose content everyone is currently discussing over on page Fandom, uses the word "preŽxisting". --Rachael
I would typically hyphenate that word -- Senji
And [here's] a post which uses two such in one short sentence. --Rachael



NoLongerWordOfTheDay

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