Dr McSteamy

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why do doctors, esp surgeons, pronounce it this way?

it's 'sent-imeters', just like we learned it in grade school. why did they go and f**k it up?

and it's tamponade like lemonade.

you don't drink lemon-odd, do you?
 

themudphud

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So at our place everyone calls it tampon-odd. Perhaps a case of tomayto tomahto.
But the sonti-meters kills me! :) It's usually a really old attending who grew up in an era when everyone pronounced it that way or it is one of those younger attendings who think they are "old school". Ha ha ha ha!Maybe you've noticed that too at your place?
 
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tacrum43

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umbi-like-us
I've head a bunch of people say it like that. I always thought it was "um-bil-i-cus". Am I wrong or else what is up with people pronouncing it like Tic quoted?
 

Ashers

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I was googling this because my dad (surgeon) says "sont-imeter" in every day conversation.

I found a couple of things.
1) This old thread from 2006 was the first thing to pop up.
2) I also found an article in Science Magazine from 1930 entitled "The Pronunciation of Centimeter." Unfortunately, I would've had to pay to see it, and I wasn't going to do that.

Edit: Adding 1

The one that bugs me is macrophage.

I say "macro-fayge" not "macro-faahge." When I took microbio in England, the only difference given was when the lecturer said "The macrofaahge, or macrofayge (if you're posh)..."
 
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waldenwoods

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I've been confused by the whole pronunciation thing myself, which is my motivation to look it up. I have access through an institutional subscription...The "article" from 1930 is more of a letter to the editor:

AT a recent meeting of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in New York frequent use was made, necessarily, of the word "centimeter." Sometimes it was given a thoroughly Anglicized pronunciation and occasionally an equally good French pronunciation, but several times during the day one would hear a rather unpleasant variation, an unsuccessful attempt being made to pronounce the first syllable as in French while the last was given a distinctly English sound. Since the nasal sound and slight lisp and burr are difficult to the average American, why not adopt the Anglicized pronunciation as the standard for English speech?
That's not really helpful in understanding why there are differences in the way that people pronounce "centimeter."

When I was searching for that one, another search result was a letter to the editor from 1921 (Frost HB. English pronunciation for the metric system. Science, New Series. 1921;53:457.):

ENGLISH PRONUNCIATION FOR THE METRIC SYSTEM

DOUBTLESS practically all scientific workers favor general use of the decimal or metric system of weights and measures. Obviously there are certain unavoidable difficulties, both psychological and economic, which must be overcome before this end can be attained. It seems inconsistent, then, for users of the system to add unnecessarily, even in small degree, to the popular prejudice against the change.

Just such an unnecessary minor difficulty is produced by a common American practise in the pronunciation of metric names containing the prefix cent-. As a matter of history, it is true, these names came to us from the French; they could just as well, however, have been taken directly into English from the Latin and Greek. In most respects these words are already, by common consent, fully Anglicized; we never employ the French syllabic stress, nor do we use the French sound of the r or the i or the second e in centimeter. Why, then, should we ever say "sänt" (sahnt), approximating the sound in centime, for the straightforward English "sent" [Note: the "e" appears with an accent mark on top of it that looks like a parenthesis with the concave side upward...couldn't find the symbol for that letter in a modern-day ASCII table :)] (as in center) ? Although this hybrid pronunciation is (for example) not recognized by the Funk and Wagnalls "New Standard Dictionary," it is certainly widely prevalent in this country, and it doubtless adds a little to the unthinking popular prejudice against the metric system as a "high-brow" foreign innovation. The same considerations apply to the word centigrade, which has come into English by the same route.

In various other English words, such as cental, centipede, and centenary, cent is regularly pronounced as in the case of the name of our monetary unit. The only excuse for a different practise for the metric system is the fact that these words were first used by the French. They are truly international words, however, and as a matter of practical convenience they should be naturalized in each language in which they are used. Any attempt at precise international uniformity for such words is obviously predestined to failure, except as this uniformity comes with the general adoption of an international auxiliary language such as Esperanto—and even when this happens the usage of "national" languages will probably remain unchanged.

And while we are about it, in conformity with the definite trend of modern English usage, can we not all agree to drop the "me" from gram(me), and to write meter rather than metre?
Well...at any rate, this topic of discussion is more than 80 years old. :)
 

Dr McSteamy

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Who says tamponade like lemonade?
according to Webster, it's tampon-aid.

i refuse to say sontimeters. I've heard older IM attendings even say it that way, as if afraid to not fit in with the crowd. I've even heard younger late 30's docs say sontimeters.

it makes you sound like you've got something in the rectum.

we new generation doctors must buck the trend, and pronounce words properly, and write legibly. :thumbup:
 

wylie313

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dont forget what started all this nonsense...my first day of path class feeling good about myself being a second year med student, and to my surprise they changed the word dilation on me to dilatation!?!? jeez that bothered me forever until i realized they actually use the word in all the texts and that it is proper, so i chose to accept it. but i will NEVER accept sontimeters, its just absurd!
 
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TrapperJohnMD

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according to Webster, it's tampon-aid.

i refuse to say sontimeters. I've heard older IM attendings even say it that way, as if afraid to not fit in with the crowd. I've even heard younger late 30's docs say sontimeters.

it makes you sound like you've got something in the rectum.

we new generation doctors must buck the trend, and pronounce words properly, and write legibly. :thumbup:
HILARIOUS! :laugh:

I have one:

absence seizures or ab-SON-ce seizures
 

BigRedBeta

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according to Webster, it's tampon-aid.
I didn't believe you at first. I don't think I've ever heard anyone (and I mean ANYONE) ever say it with a long "a" sound. But lo and behold, Stedman's has the pronunciation that way...
 

Mayhem

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I've never heard tampon-aid before and just reading it grates on my nerve. I don't have a problem with the others except for sontimetres. That's a crime against language. It also doesn't help that the only person I've ever heard use it is a horrific ******* of a neurosurgeon who also pronounces substantia nigra as substantia niagara. No evidence has yet been found to explain why he's allowed to live.
 

bjolly

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I refuse to use "sontimeters" too. The first time I heard it (on one of my 3rd year rotations) I had to ask someone what it meant. I thought it was some kind of weird technical measurement having to do with ultrasound. :p
 

indo

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"sku-lee-tal" for skeletal...holy **** dude.
 

indo

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yeah, it was a guy who studied in england. I was startled when he said it and I thought I was having a stroke.
 

PeepshowJohnny

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That's, unfortunately, how I say "skeletal" in my head about 1/3 of the time only because I had a European college professor for a bio class, and I heard it a lot in England in class. I pronounce it normally when I speak.
Same reason that I sound like a doofus when I say capillary as "kuh-PILL-ary" instead of "CAP-ill-ary"
 

Droopy Snoopy

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yeah, it was a guy who studied in england. I was startled when he said it and I thought I was having a stroke.
Whenever I read 'orthopedic' my mind says 'orthopaedic' with some imaginary extra 'e' inflection. I've tried to stop but it's like having a song stuck in your head.
 

meister

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Some of these pronunciations would seriously make me want to vomit if I heard them. If I have to survive a 12 week clerkship listening to some schmoe say sonti-meters every two seconds I'll jump out a window. :bang:
 
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