[Scribus] How to pronounce Scribus

Gregory Pittman gpittman
Sat Mar 17 21:32:39 CET 2007

John Jason Jordan wrote:
> Why must it have the same pronunciation in all languages? If Polish
> speakers want to pronounce it [skribus], that's their affair. In fact,
> that's probably how speakers of most European languages would interpret
> the pronunciation. But none of that has any bearing on how English
> speakers will pronounce it. Everyone knows that English orthography
> went into the dumper after the Great Vowel Shift of the 1600s, and has
> been there ever since. We're 400 years late for spelling reform. We're
> so past due I'm surprised the rest of the world hasn't foreclosed and
> evicted us from the planet.
> Re how it otter be pronounced in English:
> (In the following all vowels in [] have the values of the International
> Phonetic Alphabet. If some of the characters are not appearing
> correctly you may have to set your e-mail client to use UTF-8 and a
> font containing IPA characters.) 
> Before the Great Vowel Shift i was pronounced [i]. After the Great
> Vowel Shift it had fallen and diphongized so it is now pronounced [aj],
> [?j] or [?j], depending on your dialect. However, this occurred only
> when the syllable was stressed, and this was most common when the vowel
> in the following syllable was (originally) [?], which at that time was
> usually spelled e. Thus before the Great Vowel Shift "scribe" was
> pronounced [skrib], the final [?] having been lost earlier during the
> Middle English period. (From rhymes in Chaucer we know that pronouncing
> the final [?] was already optional in his time.) After the Great Vowel
> Shift it had become [skrajb] or [skr?jb] (the dialectal variant [?j]
> occurs only before voiceless stops).
> The problem with "Scribus" is that the vowel of the second syllable is
> not silent as it is in "scribe." If it were the i should be pronounced
> [aj] or [?j], depending on the speaker's dialect. That the e is not
> silent means that the i must be pronounced [?] or [i]. However, we
> generally use the [i] pronunciation only for words that have been
> borrowed recently. Thus, I can just about guarantee you that if you put
> the word "Scribus" in front of a hundred native English speakers and
> ask them how to pronounce it, the response will be overwhelmingly
> [skr?b?s], with a few choosing [skrajb?s].
And here I thought I was asking a question with a simple answer...

So it seems that Scribus is an existential word.


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