datum, data

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datum, data

Post by John Barton » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:22 pm

About 30 years ago, everyone pronounced 'data' to rhyme with 'later'; now it seems fashionable to rhyme it with 'smarter'. Every dictionary I know allows only the former, in conformity with normal Latin pronunciation. As the plural of 'datum'; so "what is the data on..." is a howler. It seems destined to go the way of all its mates - strata, errata, relata, desiderata, zeugmata, pro rata, dogmata, schemata, and the hundreds of medical words such as sarcomata, scleromata... Must confess I often rhyme 'strata' with 'carter' rathert than 'cater'.
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datum, data

Post by russcable » Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:09 pm

Does your dictionary really recommend that any of these words has an 'r' sound at the end or added into the middle (data rhymes with dater or darter??) or are those just supposed to be "close" rhymes to so we get the vowel sound?
Most online dictionaries still give both pronunciations and some of these words even have a third possibily.
As an American English speaker, I'm not getting how "what is the data on.." sounds funny. Perhaps you would like to explain that?
Also, some of the words you list are Greek - dogma, schema, sarcoma, scleroma... whether that has any effect on your thought or not. The dictionaries I looked in seem to prefer adding -s rather than -ta to the Greek ones though both are there for most of them (none seem to list zeugmata). Are you sure that you ever pronounced these with a long A since it would be much weirder to go from schEma to schEmAta than from dAtum to dAta - surely no one ever said schEmA/schEmAta?
I don't think I've ever seen or heard relatum or relata so I'm not too worried about that one. I have seen zeugma in print but never heard anyone say it out loud other than to say what a weird word so I doubt I've heard it pronounced "authoratatively". I've only seen/heard Desiderata as the name of a poem.
"You say tomAto and I say tomato, you say potAto and I say potahto ... let's call the whole thing off."
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datum, data

Post by Phil White » Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:27 pm

Russ,
John was referring to the use of "data" with a singular verb. Technically, it's the plural of "datum", as John points out. There was a time when US usage and UK usage differed slightly, but it appears to me that current usage both in the UK and in the US allows both.

I have to say that most of my translations are from the IT world, and I (and many of the companies I work for) long ago decided to treat data as a collective noun and use it with a singular verb. It does raise the issue of what word or phrase to use when I want to stress that we are dealing with a number of individual items of data or a singular item of data. I personally tend to distinguish with precisely that phrase "item(s) of data". I claim no authority, though.
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datum, data

Post by dalehileman » Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:54 pm

John, nobody here pronounced "data" to rhyme with "later" except possibly in scattered boroughs of the Northeast. Most of us pronounced it either as "date uh" (the pasty-faced android)or so as to rhyme with "bat uh", and still do. Incidentally, although Webster ssid it was OK, almost nobody here says it rhyming with "gotta"
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Post by Bobinwales » Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:53 am

I and the people around here pronounce it as the name of the pasty-faced android. The bat-uh rhyme is rare in the extreme, and I have never ever heard of a "gotta" rhyme. But I have a problem with Webster anyway, why would someone even think about starting to compile a dictionary when he couldn't spell? (A bit of light-hearted ribaldry with cousins across the Pond)
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Post by dalehileman » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:17 pm

Cousin Bob: Sorry, I thought you meant "date er". As for Merriam, I've used mine for 30 years and never found a spelling error. In fact the only outright error I have encountered so far is including "fuzz" for policeman without labeling it as slang
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datum, data

Post by mongrowl » Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:20 pm

About 30 years ago, everyone pronounced 'data' to rhyme with 'later'; now it seems fashionable to rhyme it with 'smarter'.
New Yorker,s (Brooklyner,s, I believe) still say "day ter".
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datum, data

Post by dalehileman » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:19 pm

Mon, seriously and sincerely, in my 74 years I don't remember ever having heard anyone pronounce it "day ter" nor "darter"
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datum, data

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:26 pm

Not even Frank Sinaytra.
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datum, data

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:54 pm

Dale, You’ve obviously never visited Brooklyn and vicinity (my former home town) where, among other atrocities, R’s are both added and subtracted at will. I didn’t realize for years that my family didn’t consist of a 'motha,' 'fatha,' 'sista,' and 'brotha,' nor that 'smart' and 'warm' had R’s in them. And who would have ever guessed that ‘saw’ wasn’t pronounced 'sore,' that 'Canada' wasn’t 'Canader,' and that the state down south wasn’t 'Florider,' to say nothing of 'sofa' not being ‘sofer’ and 'idea' not being ‘idear,’ and, of course, data not being ‘dater.’

Incidentally, on my recent vacation to ‘Florider,’ I thought I had been transported back to my childhood home since it seemed that everyone I heard and met was either from New York, New Jersey, or Long Island. I coulda went to New York City and except for the weatha and the palm trees, I get the idear that I mighta neva been the wisea!
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datum, data

Post by Dragon Breath » Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:15 pm

At the risk of hijacking this thread even furhter from its destination, lemme say that as a New Yoker, my wife will add the r sound at the end of words ending in a.
dater, soder, sofer (data, soda, sofa).
Ironically, if there's already an r, she'll drop it: killah, monstah. The ow sound also gets whacked as in windah or pillah.
I've always made fun of her by saying: "The killah, came in thru the windah to steal my soder."
Not relavant, I know and apologise, but hopefully humorous.
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