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Question: How do you say metamerism?
meta-mer-ism - 8 (30.8%)
me-TAM-er-ism - 14 (53.8%)
why-the-heck-does-my-bw-print-look-green - 4 (15.4%)
Total Voters: 25

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Author Topic: How do you say metamerism?  (Read 18990 times)
blowery
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« on: March 07, 2006, 11:24:31 AM »
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I say it meta-mer-ism, but I've heard others (michael included) say me-TAM-er-ism.  Is there a standard within the industry?

Merriam-Webster seems to agree with me-TAM-er-ism, though it also indicates meta-mere and meta-mer-ic for the roots.  I saw meta-mer-ism because I also say meta-data and meta-morph.

Does anyone know the etymology of metamerism for certain?  From digging around on http://www.etymonline.com/ it appears that it's composed of meta- (in the changed or altered sense), mere (pure, unchanged?), and -ism.  That would lead me to believe the "correct" pronunciation would be meta-mer-ism, but if it's not what most folks use, then it's a bit moot.

So, how do you say it?
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jani
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 12:11:30 PM »
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Intuitively, I choose "meta-mer-ism" (or, rather, "me-ta'mer-ism"), probably for the same reasons you choose it.

But English isn't an intuitive language, and various English dialects pronounce things differently.

Just listen to Michael, a New Yorker and a BBC reporter when they say the word "about", for instance.  The intonation and rhythm is quite different.

I'd love to see what the OED had to say on the subject, since it tends to be a very good descriptive dictionary.

Here are some other opinions on the pronunciation:

answers.com
dict.die.net
wordwebonline.com

The former two seem to mostly agree with our intuitions, the latter with M-W and Canadians.

Blame Canada!

(Oh well, I guess you would have had to have seen the movie ...)
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Jan
mikeseb
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 12:43:18 PM »
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Prior to going mano-a-inko with my Epson 4000, I had heard the word pronounced only in the biological context, where it is defined as

The condition of having the body divided into metameres, exhibited in most animals only in the early embryonic stages of development. (Steadman's Medical Dictionary via dictionary.com)

This crowd usually says it "meh-TAM-er-ism".
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 05:22:08 PM »
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In my undergraduate studies in color measurement, it was alway pronounced me-TAM-er-ism. This is also the pronuncitaion used in our photometric division at our company. The Random House dictionary says the same thing.

This is not unusual to have different inflection between two words with the same root: photograph / photography.
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scho37
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2006, 07:15:28 PM »
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I agree with meta-mer-ism.  Think about pronunciation in this form:  That ink is strongly meta-meric when used with papers containing optical brightners.

Quote
I say it meta-mer-ism, but I've heard others (michael included) say me-TAM-er-ism.  Is there a standard within the industry?

Merriam-Webster seems to agree with me-TAM-er-ism, though it also indicates meta-mere and meta-mer-ic for the roots.  I saw meta-mer-ism because I also say meta-data and meta-morph.

Does anyone know the etymology of metamerism for certain?  From digging around on http://www.etymonline.com/ it appears that it's composed of meta- (in the changed or altered sense), mere (pure, unchanged?), and -ism.  That would lead me to believe the "correct" pronunciation would be meta-mer-ism, but if it's not what most folks use, then it's a bit moot.

So, how do you say it?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59699\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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digitaldog
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2006, 08:12:18 PM »
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ma-TAM-er-ism
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Andrew Rodney
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2006, 08:29:09 PM »
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"Oh, you say 'MET-amer ...' and I say 'me-TAM-erism'".

Actually, I generally start with something a little like "meta-, meta, mmm", and then I cough to give someone else a chance to complete the word. If nobody does, I figure thay don't have a clue what it is, so I can call it anything I want to.    

Eric
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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2006, 11:57:01 PM »
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The emphasis is on the first syllable and the OED confirms it.  
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Bob Postle
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006, 06:59:46 AM »
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[My wife is a bit of a language buff with a Canadian mother and an English father.  Not knowing the meaning of the word, I put it in front of her and asked her to pronounce it.  She said "meta-mer-ism"....I said that I pronounced it me-TAM-erism and she said...hmmmm...sounds better.  And to quote Michael from an Epson 2200 equipment review.....

"You can now take the word metamerism and place it in that part of the brain that contains words and phrases you know the meaning of, but don’t use much any longer, like hula-hoop and dot-com success story"  

onward and upward....
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blowery
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006, 09:13:21 AM »
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Wow, I never expected this to generate this many responses.    To clarify, my intention is starting this thread was not the determine the "correct" way of saying metamerism, but instead to see how folks pronounce it in the wild.  As someone else commented, regional dialects pronounce the same word in fairly different ways.  As long as we all understand what's being discuessed, the exact pronunciation doesn't really matter.  I'd heard it both ways, so I was curious how it fell out among the folks who frequent the LL forums.

Thanks to everyone for chiming in.

--b (the guy who used to say cache as "ca-shay" and caveat as "ca-veet")
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2006, 10:19:39 AM »
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Saying "me-TAM-mer-ism" is like saying "me-TAD-a-ta".  Both start with the same "meta" prefix, so they're equivalent constructions, and noone says the latter.  Sounds like a firm vote for "meta-mer-ism" to me.  (That's how I say it.)

Lisa
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2006, 10:59:46 AM »
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Quote
The emphasis is on the first syllable and the OED confirms it. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59769\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
AH, but the OED only applies in jolly old England. Here, in the rebellious colonies, we can choose to pronounce it however we wish to (and we don't need no "u" in the word "color" either.)  

Lisa's comment clinches it for me.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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jani
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2006, 02:10:46 PM »
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Although we're so far into off-topic land that I shouldn't even be posting:

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AH, but the OED only applies in jolly old England.
No, that's simply not correct.

The OED is a dictionary of the English language, and does include the rebellious colonies.  Well, at least most of them.

Another point to be made is that neither Merriam-Webster or Oxford are normative dictionaries.  They're descriptive.  The OED is the most complete currently available.

I'd be surprised if the alternative pronunciation didn't make it into the OED in a while.

For the non-subscribers (of which I am one), you can learn quite a bit about what the OED is about just by looking at their word of the day.
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Jan
Ray
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2006, 05:32:04 PM »
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Actually, I got it wrong. My 20 volumes of the OED are compressed into one large volume with very small print that requires a magnifying glass to read (that's my excuse). Having checked again in both the OED and Websters I find, to my great embarrassment   , I have been mispronouncing this word. It's no wonder I've been getting a blank stare from people when I've used this word   .

Lisa has a point. One doesn't say me-TAD-ata. However, that is more difficult to say than MET-a-data, just as MET-a-merism is more difficult to say than me-TAM-erism.

It seems this is one word which is pronounced the same in England and the colonies. The emphasis is on the second syllable as in metabolism.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 05:40:52 PM by Ray » Logged
Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2006, 06:24:50 PM »
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So, is that me-ta-bo-lism? Or me-tab-ol-ism? And is it me-ta-bol-ic or me-tab-ol-ic?
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2006, 06:27:09 PM »
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One thing is of sure, the "why does my print look green" crowd are not right as metamerism has nothing to do with the color of a single sample.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2006, 08:54:55 PM »
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It's actually not "Why does my print look green", but rather "Why does my print look green now, when just a little while ago it looked purple?".

Eric
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Ray
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2006, 09:01:11 PM »
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Quote
So, is that me-ta-bo-lism? Or me-tab-ol-ism? And is it me-ta-bol-ic or me-tab-ol-ic?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59823\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Quite! The suggested alternatives in the poll are poorly described. Nobody says me-ta-bo-lism (except perhaps a poorly programmed computer). There's always an emphasis somewhere. Of course it's met-AB-olism and meta-BOL-ic.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 09:04:47 PM by Ray » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2006, 09:12:59 PM »
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It's actually not "Why does my print look green", but rather "Why does my print look green now, when just a little while ago it looked purple?".

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=59843\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's easily explained. Now you are printing scenery with green foliage. A while ago you were printing a fashion show with purple dresses.  
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blowery
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2006, 07:14:41 AM »
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Lisa has a point. One doesn't say me-TAD-ata. However, that is more difficult to say than MET-a-data, just as MET-a-merism is more difficult to say than me-TAM-erism.

Difficulty is in the tongue of the speaker; I find MET-a-mer-ism much easier to say than me-TAM-er-ism.  Others obviously see it the other way.

I think from now on we should refer to the phenomenon previously known as metamerism as "time to upgrade my printer".
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