Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pronunciation Please........

It was finally getting to me.  I just couldn't handle it any longer.  As I listened to people talk about diabetes I was hearing a totally different pronunciation for "diabetes".  I kept thinking, "Why?.....Why are you saying it THAT way?  Don't you realize you are completely butchering the pronunciation?!!"  
Then, the kicker....our diabetes team at Children's said it THAT way.  I seriously had a hard time listening to their actual words as they spoke because this debate was raging in my head.   So now it was really bugging me.  I had never heard it pronounced THAT way, so who which way is RIGHT?  I just had to investigate.
Merriam-Webster's to the rescue!!!! 
Here is the pronunciation entry:  
 di(with line over it)-(upside down)e-'be(w/ line over it)-te(w/ line over it)z, -'be(w/ line over it)-t(upside down)es
O.K., O.K.....so I totally botched that up.....too hard to recreate without the proper symbols.....but let me give you an idea of what it says"
die-uh-bee-tease  OR  die-uh-bee-tuhs    
So there you have it...... they are both correct!!!  Although one does come before the other in the pronunciation guide!! (wink, wink) 
Phew.....I'm glad I can put that little debate in my mind to rest......I can now listen to people totally mispronounce the word and be at ease knowing they technically aren't mispronouncing it.: - )  


Kassie said...

a friend of mine once told me the story of how her school principal made an announcement about a fundraiser for the American Die-ah-be-tus Association. Now *that's* a mispronunciation! :)

jj said...

Lol...never broke that issue down this way but wow, am surprised they're both correct! I always use the "Tease" at the end...hope that's the more common way! ;)

dani said...



Donna said...

Oh, how cool! You're OCD, too! LOL! Just kidding. :)

When I was diagnosed, everyone called it "diabetus". I always hated how that sounded. In my OCD mind, it sounds kind of lazy to say it that way now. I prefer the "eees" at the end, too.

Cyraxote said...

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is what is known as a "descriptive" dictionary; it will tell you what people do, wrong or right. If you want an expert opinion, other dictionaries (Random House, American Heritage) are "prescriptive" dictionaries that will tell you what's "wrong" or "right."

I find the Merriam-Webster quite frustrating because people turn to dictionaries to resolve misunderstandings, not to have them continued and excused.

Stedman's Medical Dictionary lists the correct pronunciation as dye-uh-BEE-tees.

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