Category Scientific English

How to pronounce analysis

The word analysis can be challenging in a number of languages (I remember a few incidents from my first university course on Mathematical analysis). This post is motivated by two occurrences of the same mistake in the last month at work. As with many other English words, the pronunciation of the noun (analysis) differs significantly

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Learn how to pronounce machine

Everybody is talking about machine learning these days, but quite a few of those people pronounce the word machine incorrectly. From way in the past (that is, my youth), I also remember friends making the same mistake when talking about the band Rage against the Machine. The incorrect pronunciation of machine that you can often

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Asterix may be a star, but stars are not asteriks

After having witnessed the same mistake on several occasions in recent weeks, I thought I’d write a post about asterisks.* The mistake I heard was an incorrect pronunciation of asterisk, the typographical name of the symbol “*”. It was pronounced as if it were spelled asteriks (that is, [ˈæstərɪks] instead of [ˈæstərɪsk]). Of course, asterisk

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Naughty notifications

While listening to an online lecture about software engineering presented by a German, I noticed a systematic, incorrect pronunciation of the words notify and notification. The correct pronunciations are readily found online, for example in the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary: notify: [ˈnəʊtɪfaɪ] (BE), [ˈnoʊtɪfaɪ] (AE) | listen here notification: [ˌnəʊtɪfɪˈkeɪʃn] (BE), [ˌnoʊtɪfɪˈkeɪʃn] (AE) | listen here

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How to pronounce interpret

This week’s seminar speaker (German, but currently working in the US) made several interesting pronunciation mistakes. Most notably, he kept pronouncing the verb interpret so incorrectly that I did not even recognize it immediately. To understand what went wrong, we best look at the phonetic spelling. The are actually several pronunciations of interpret that are

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Monotonic/monotone vs. monotonous

At a physics conference I attended last week in Berlin, I came across yet another example of tricky distinctions to master. Several speakers confused the words monotonic or monotone with monotonous. While these words can be used interchangeably in some situations, only monotonic and monotone are correct in a mathematical context. The Oxford online dictionary

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