Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 10:11:59 EDT
Subject: achieving audio and visual fidelity
I frequently talk about these things to my father-in-law who is a biologist.
In conversing about these topics we often have a pronunciation problem. In
speaking verbally, "phenotype" and "pheMotype" sound almost identical leading
to lots of misunderstanding if your conversations wander between biology and
culture as ours frequently do.
I have come up with an idea - perhaps we should pronounce it like this - "fem
- o - tipe" as contrasted with the biological - "feen - o - tipe".
Furthermore in written terms I always write pheMotype with a capital "M" in
the middle to make the distinction more visual. I have seen some writers in
the journal use bold on the "m", apparently reflecting my concern as well.
The only problem that I see with bold is that in the world of computers,
EMail, and the internet, there is less compatibility and resources expended
on emphasis features than there is on case. With enough pastings and
repastings, a bolded "m" is more likely to transform into just a plain "m".
A capitalized "M" is much less likely to be altered.
I think that in addition to refining our concepts, we ought refine the word
presentation to make both the similarities and the differences between the
biological words more distinguishable and more consistent. The only thing
left out from this scheme is "memotype". Once I have altered my
pronunciation of pheMotype, should I pronounce it "meem - o - tipe" to be
consistent with "meme", or should I pronounce it "mem - o - tipe" to be
consistent with pheMotype? I am thinking of going with this latter solution.
Has anyone else thought about this things?
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