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Pronunciation of encephalitis

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How is the c supposed to be pronounced in words such as encephalitis and encephalopathy?

 

I've always said them with a soft c, but have heard many use a hard c.

 

Most other words with a c between an n and e have a soft c sound..eg. incest, ancestor, so why do people insist of using the hard c when saying encephalitis?? Doesn't make sense to me.

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It is a soft c. As in a sound that sounds like an s.

 

Who do you know that pronounced it with a hard c? I've never heard of anyone who has done that.

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Who do you know that pronounced it with a hard c? I've never heard of anyone who has done that.

Quite a few microbiology lecturers here in Australia. I've always thought they were pronouncing it wrong..

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N-seff-a-lite-iss

 

Is how I would pronounce it...

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I'm going to say en-keph-alitis just to be different. I used to do research in a neurology hospital where they were studying encephalopathies and they all pronounced it with a K sound (I'm in the UK though). It comes from the Greek word for brain: enkephalos

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I'm going to say en-keph-alitis just to be different. I used to do research in a neurology hospital where they were studying encephalopathies and they all pronounced it with a K sound (I'm in the UK though). It comes from the Greek word for brain: enkephalos

How would you say 'cephalic'? With a s or a k sound?

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How would you say 'cephalic'? With a s or a k[/i'] sound?

 

with a K sound, always. I've rarely heard it with an 'S' sound and it sounds bizarre to me. But maybe it's different in different places. I think in the UK people tend to stick to a more 'european' pronunciation and spelling. Like Haem Vs Heme, etc.

 

I used to work for a professor who insisted "apoptosis" was pronounced apoh-tosis ie with no second 'p' sound. On the basis that "ptosis" on its own was pronounced 'tosis'. Haven't heard that anywhere else though

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with a K sound, always. I've rarely heard it with an 'S' sound and it sounds bizarre to me. But maybe it's different in different places. I think in the UK people tend to stick to a more 'european' pronunciation and spelling. Like Haem Vs Heme, etc.

 

 

cephalic should be seh-falik, I think. It's comes from the Latin word cephalique and is the root word from encephalitis, thus a soft c-sound.

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If it's based on the Greek word for Brain then I supopse it would be more appropriate to keep to the original pronounciation of the root word.

 

Encephalitis - Yet another example of why the English Language sucks of inconsistency.

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My wife's Dictionary of medical terms says hard c (k), and the root is greek, enkephalos. All her medical colleagues pronounced it "k". That is good enough for me.

If yanks want to mispronounce it, that is their problem, as long as they dont call it English. I knew a Dutchman who claimed that among other languages, he also spoke english and american. He thought they were different, it appears he may be right.

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Encephalitis - Yet another example of why the English Language sucks of inconsistency.

 

All languages have their inconsistencies and their lunacies. But I do agree that since the root has a soft c, the obvious english equivalent should use the same. At least that is what I have heard all my fellow physicians pronounce it as.

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"Brain stuff" is a shed load easier when in doubt ;)

 

I`m with the C = S sound, although the word Encepalphathy I have heard proffesionaly said with a K sound as enKepalofathee.

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The word is derived from the Greek "κεφαλή" (kephalé), meaning head, to which are added: "εν-" (en), meaning inside and "-ιτις" (-itis), meaning inflammation. The word in English has come via Latin, then French.

The C in romance languages is "soft" before E, I, and Y (e.g. receive, decide, cede, city, cyanide, cynical) and "hard" before A, O and U (e.g. cat, cot, cut). Exceptions in French are indicated by the use of the "softening" cedilla: "Français", "Çendrillon". Céphalique in French has no cedilla and should be pronounced "hard": Ke-fa-LICK.

 

In English the classical pronunciation is en-ke-fa-LIGHT-iss. This is consistent with etymology and the French cognate word.

 

All words derived from Greek "Kephalé" are pronounced in a similar way with the "hard" C: Encephalogram, cephalic, cephalopod, encephalin, etc, etc.

 

Similarly, the word Celt is often pronounced with a "soft" C, whereas in Greek "Κέλτοι" (keltoi) and Latin "Celtae" (Keltae) are always pronounced with a "hard" C.

 

As far as the pronunciation of "apoptosis" is concerned, as it is also derived from the Greek, the two "P's" should be pronounced, as they are in the original language: A-pop-TOE-sis.

Edited by NixPix
spelling/syntax

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Related: is it "ah-mee-no" acid or "ah-my-no" acid? In the UK it is near-universally pronounced the latter, but one or two lecturers irritatingly use the former. Input from a few Yanks appreciated. ;)

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Related: is it "ah-mee-no" acid or "ah-my-no" acid? In the UK it is near-universally pronounced the latter, but one or two lecturers irritatingly use the former. Input from a few Yanks appreciated. ;)

 

"One or two"? "Near-universally"?

 

I think you have it the wrong way around there.

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"One or two"? "Near-universally"?

 

I think you have it the wrong way around there.

Nope - I've met maybe two people who say "a-my-no".

 

Edit: whoops. You're right - one or two say "a-my-no", almost all say "a-mee-no". I misread my own post *duh*

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How is the c supposed to be pronounced in words such as encephalitis and encephalopathy?

 

I've always said them with a soft c, but have heard many use a hard c.

 

Most other words with a c between an n and e have a soft c sound..eg. incest, ancestor, so why do people insist of using the hard c when saying encephalitis?? Doesn't make sense to me.

 

I agree, I'm in the soft c camp.


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Consecutive posts merged
Nope - I've met maybe two people who say "a-my-no".

 

Edit: whoops. You're right - one or two say "a-my-no", almost all say "a-mee-no". I misread my own post *duh*

 

When lecturers say "a-my-no" people usually giggle. It's because they're almost always the very posh, upper-class lecturers. It's like the old scone/scooooone thing.

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Heh, I used to take a class with a Scouse lass. Someone made the mistake of saying "scoooone" and was immediately dubbed a "scon 'ead". It stuck. :D

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In England it is pronounced KEFF, in the USA it is pronounced SEFF.

In the future you can look in the dictionary for the correct pronunciation.  Many online dictionaries have icons you can click on to play a recording of the word so you can hear the correct pronunciation.  Often they will say if it is the English pronunciation or the American pronunciation.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/pronunciation/english/encephalitis

Edited by Abendland
Typo "CEFF" when I meant "SEFF"

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