Uranus

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, May 6, 2023.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Which syllable of 'Uranus' is accented in speaking?
     
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  3. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    In the UK it is the middle syllable** and in the States I have heard it accentuated on the first.

    In France I would guess it to be the last.

    By the way I think "accentuated" may be more correct than "accented" since I understand "accented" to mean that a particular vowel carries a character on top when written down to signify a particular pronunciation.

    I may be wrong of course.

    **.....
    leading to jokes among the adolescent classes there.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Accented letters are text - and they have fiddly bits.
    Accented syllables are spoken - and they're also called stressed.
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    "The standard way to pronounce Uranus among astronomers is to put the emphasis on the first syllable “ur” and then say the second part “unus”. This is the standard literary pronunciation. The more common way people have pronounced it is u-ra-nus, with the “ra” sounded like “ray”"
    https://www.universetoday.com/18943/how-should-you-pronounce-uranus/
     
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  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for this. Something I did not know.

    I looked it up and found it is from the Greek Οὐρανός, the primordial deity of the sky. So really it should be Ouranos or Ouranus, pronounced OOR-an-us indeed, rather than your-anus. Well I never.

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  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    In the UK we really only started the less toilet-humour-inducing "your anus" pronunciation when it became newsworthy to talk about the planet, and news presenters were tasked with talking about there being "rings around uranus". I think the BBC probably had much to do with it, therefore. But even when I was growing up it was "your anus".
    There's also the consideration that the element based on the same root name is "your an...ium". So swap "ium" for "us" and you get a consistent pronunciation of the root.
    Both are acceptable pronunciations for the planet, though, and some others are finding their way in, such as "OO-ranus" (in keeping, as someone else said, with the original Greek name).
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Of course the trouble with the more authentic pronunciation is it is urine-us.

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  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if you trace the word/name back to it's roots, it does come from the same root as gave rise to "to urinate". Uranus was considered the "rain maker".
     
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  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Now that really is interesting!
     

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