Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Pedants' corner (1)

Stressing the second syllable of kilometre, which almost everyone does nowadays, annoyed me mainly because I didn't know why people did it, so I was interested to read an American comment: "Although the pronunciation of kilometer with stress on the second syllable, (ki-LOM-eter), is often censured because it does not conform to the stress pattern in millimeter and centimeter (it originally came about by false analogy with barometer and thermometer), it continues to thrive in American English."

But I shall still say KILometre.

Also, it's interesting that we use the French "re" ending only with the units we got from them and not with, for example "barometer", thus making the Americans appear to be more consistent than we, though actually they are not.

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