July 21, 2003
More naming

Dash asked a question that I think other people have been wondering also: how do you pronounce my blog-name?

Although it's somewhat embarrassing to admit this, I'm not sure. Camassia is a scientific name, a Latinization of camass (pronounced cam-us), itself an Anglicization of quamash, the Native American name for the plant pictured at left. It's not the sort of word you're likely to hear unless you're hanging with botanists. When I first read the name I thought of it as ca-mash-a, but my mother, Telford, and Peter all pronounce it ca-mass-ee-a, while Dash asked if it was pronounced that way or ca-ma-see-a.

Really, I don't care how people say it, since I adopted it for print purposes only. I liked the idea of a floral name, since I like gardening (though I haven't done much of it living in city apartments, alas), and I wanted something unique that sounds like it could be a woman's name. Actually, I'm not the only blogger with pronunciation issues. I've noticed that Telford pronounces Eve Tushnet's last name so the first syllable rhymes with lush, while I say it to rhyme with push, because I have a more prurient mind, I guess. And while we're at it, how do you pronounce Tom Kreitzberg's last name? How about all of Amitai Etzioni?

And then there's The New Republic's blog &c., which is, Ted Barlow helpfully informs us, "pronounced 'Prince'."

Posted by Camassia at July 21, 2003 01:05 PM | TrackBack

"Kreitzberg" is pronounced the way it's spelled.

Posted by: Tom on July 22, 2003 06:14 AM

Rhymes with "lush" not with "push"... but hey, whatever you want as long as you don't make it "Tooshnik" or (really!) "Fishnet."

Posted by: Eve Tushnet on July 22, 2003 08:14 AM

Tom: They way it's spelled ... so is that "ei" as in seize, eight or height?

Eve: Fishnet? Sounds like one of those folks with a Microsoft Spellcheck approach to reading: if you see an unfamiliar word, pick one you know that's vaguely like it ...

Posted by: Camassia on July 22, 2003 02:31 PM

If you can pronounce Heidelberg, you can pronounce Kreitzberg.

Posted by: Tom on July 22, 2003 04:32 PM

hmmm... I always thought of you as "Cam-ass-eeya."

Kind of like a Spanish pronunciation thing, I guess.

Posted by: Katherine on July 22, 2003 09:37 PM
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