Had a little debate in the office today. We were doing a recording for a CD, did a little section on insects and came across the word “antennae”. A fellow American and I pronounced “antennae” in the Latin way, so the last syllable sounds like “nigh”. But one of the Chinese staff insisted that most Americans pronounced it like “antennee” (last syllable like “knee”)

So we did some research. Collins dictionary says “nigh”
Oxford and Mirriam Webster agree on “knee”

So what did you learn in school?

Should be with a long “e.”
Better to use feelers.

American schooling and Canadian schooling - antennae in both situations was sounded as a “nigh” sound. Actually, until now, have never heard the “knee” sound sound in pronounciation of this word.

Singular: antenna, with an “ahh” sound
Plural: antennae, with a “nigh” sound

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it. Let’s go with “antennas.”
On the other hand, presumably your company has a style book that its editors and proofreaders are supposed to use. Just find out which dictionary your style book uses, and follow the first pronunciatin listed.
The AP style guide uses Webster, for example.

And I always thought antennae was (long a) just from the way it looks.

I thought the same about curriculum vitae until this moment. From now on, I will no longer say either.

Did you tell her you wanted to call the whole thing off and storm out of the recording session?

You say tomato and I say tomarto, you say potato and I say potarto…

Found this which might help you:

[quote]Letter Sounds:


Several authors have identified rules that describe the traditional English pronunciation. Usage varies among individuals and continues to evolve, but the descriptive rules serve as a convenient pronunciation benchmark.

Pronunciation of biological Latin

Letter sounds are as in English words (and therefore vary with dialect).

The digraphs ae and oe are treated as the letter e.

aesthetic, aestivate, aestuary haemorrhage (pronounced as short English e as in met)
anaemia, aether, larvae , archaeology (pronounced as long English e as in me, we)
oesophagus, oestrogen (short e sound)
foetus, amoeba (long e sound)

Note the ae ending in animal and plant family names: Canidae, the dog family, is pronounced “canidee,” not “caniday.” Similarly - Camelidae, Salmonidae, Rosaceae, etc. [/quote]

I found a guide on Latin pronunciation which says ‘ae’ when actually reading Latin “should” (since obviously no-one actually knows) be a lengthened short ‘e’ :slight_smile: like the ‘ai’ in fair.

So it sounds like it should be some variant of ‘e’, at any rate. But even that I guess does not necessarily mean that ‘most Americans’ pronounce it in this way - if they pronounce it at all :slight_smile: I thought bababa’s suggestion was the most practical - if they are actually organised enough to have a style book.

It’s unfortunate that you have to pick one so-called definitive pronunciation for your CD. Perhaps flip a coin or go with the natural preference of the one doing the recording? When I encounter words where more than one pronunciation will do, I try to tell students about it and emulate the other possible ways of saying the word so students can hear it. Not possible on a CD, though.