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One Writer's Ravings:
A Logophile's Blog
for Language Lovers

Introducing the Orthoepist

It's official: As of today I am the orthoepist for the online dictionary project Wordnik.com. What's an orthoepist? It's a fancy word for a pronunciation expert. And wouldn't you know, the orthoepists themselves can't agree on how to pronounce it. Some stress the second syllable, or-THOH-uh-pist, while others stress the first, OR-thuh-wuh-pist.
(I prefer the latter pronunciation because it draws attention to the ortho part of the word, which is Greek for "right, correct." It also just sounds nicer to me.)

If you haven't heard of Wordnik, I urge you to check it out. It's an interactive, user-friendly dictionary cum social media cum je ne sais quoi founded by the affable and effervescent lexicographer Erin McKean, who was formerly editor in chief for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press. I will be recording lots of pronunciations for Wordnik, writing occasional pronunciation notes, and contributing a monthly post on orthoepy (OR-thuh-wuh-pee, correct pronunciation) to the Wordnik blog. Here's the URL for the blog: http://blog.wordnik.com/.

Go have a look right now!
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