**Computational Graphics Pronunciation Guide** 2016 March 6 Updated 2020 August 6 Introduction ===================================================================== It is hard to know the accepted English pronunciation of technical terms that you've only read, or are either unfamiliar with the language from which they come or are not a native English speaker. (And I have a lot of sympathy--I've been working with minimal success for years on my own pronunciation and accent in languages that are new to me.) My first/"native" language is American English. I have had the benefit of several mentors with impeccable academic grammar and pronunciation, and the fortune to have the pronunciation feedback of native speakers in various languages for important historical figures and terms from mathematics. I'm passing on what I've learned in this guide to terms with challenging pronunciations that appear in graphics publications and presentations. These are also the words I hear colleagues and students mispronouncing often, plus many suggestions I've received by e-mail and Twitter since this article was first posted--please send suggestions if you've encountered others, and corrections where you spot errors. For what it is worth, I don't personally care how you pronounce these words and don't police that when it doesn't affect understanding...but if you asked my _advice_ because you were concerned about miscommunication or embarrassing yourself, then this is what I would tell you! Also be aware that language evolves, so the most accepted pronunciation or grammar can change over time. Math Words ======================================================================== Here's the current most accepted pronunciation of certain terms when speaking in [American] English to a technical audience, with the accented sylable highlighted in the phoenetic version: - albedo ("al-BEE-doe") - albeit ("al-BEE-it") - aliasing ("AIL-ee-ass-ing") - anisotropic ("ann-eye-so-TRA-pick"), although pronouncing the "tra" as "troe" is a common regional accent and doesn't sound incorrect to most ears - antipodes ("ann-TIP-oh-dees") even though the singular, "antipode" is pronounced "ANTI-pode"! - Bezier ("bez-ee-YAY") - bokeh ("BOE-keh"), according to [the inventor](https://luminous-landscape.com/bokeh-in-pictures/) of the English spelling - cache ("cash"); the final "e" is silent. Note that the word pronounced "cash-AY" is "cachet," which means something completely different. Also consider whether you really meant "cache" or intended to say "memoize," which is caching without replacement - de Casteljau ("dee cast-el-JOH") - Cartesian ("car-tea-ZHEN") - Cauchy ("co-SHE") - [Delone](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Delaunay) a.k.a. Delaunay ("de-LAWN-ayh") was Russian, not French (although of French descent). This is how it his name is pronounced by American academics, but "de-lawn-EH" is more accurate to the actual Делоне́ name - Euler ("OY-lur") - Eulerian ("oy-LAIR-ian") - Euclidean ("you-KLID-ee-an") - experiment ("ex-PEAR-ih-ment") - Fourier ("four-ee-YAY") - Fresnel ("fren-EL") - finite ("FINE-ite") - frustum ("FRUS-tum"). Note that there is only one "r," near the beginning - GIF ("jif"), like the peanut butter, according to [the inventor](http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/battle-over-gif-pronunciation-erupts/?_r=0), although the hard-G alternative not uncommon - Gouraud ("goo-ROH") - Hermite ("air-MEET") - homogeneous ("home-oh-GENE-ee-yus"). The "oh" is "ah" in some regional accents - iterative ("IT-ur-uh-tiv"). The last syllable rhymes with "give" - iterate ("IT-ur-ate"). The last syllable sounds like the number 8 - infinite ("IN-fin-it"). The middle syllable is what a fish swims with. This is annoyingly different from the way that "finite" is pronounced! - Jacobian ("jack-OH-bee-an") pronounced this way in English, although Jacobi was German, so this word based on his name theoretically _should_ be pronounced "yak-oh-bee-an" - [Steve] Jobs ("jahhbs") - as in, having more than one occupation, _not_ like Job from the Tanakh/Bible - JPEG ("JAY-peg") - Kajiya ("kah-GEE-uh") - Lagrange ("lah-GRONJ"); does _not_ rhyme with "range" - Lambert ("LAMB-beart"). Lambert was Swiss and this is the Swiss-German pronunciation (ˈlambɛʁt), while the French pronunciation is ("LAMB-bear"). Either is correct but the first is more common. "LAMB-burt" is also common, but I believe is not accurate. - Lambertian ("lamb-BUR-shun"). The French version is closer to "LAMB-bear-see-ann" - Lanczos ("LAWN-sosh") the "cz" sound is the same one from "tsar/czar", which is between "s" and "z" in English - Lebesgue ("luh-BAYGE") - moot ("MOO-t"), like a cow - Mersenne ("mehr-SENN") rhymes with "pen", not with "sane" - Moiré ("mwah-RAY") - niche ("neesh"), although "nitch" is often considered acceptable today. Saying it like "Nietzsche" with two syllables is probably not acceptable anywhere, though - Phong ("Fung") [cited both under his given name Phong that is written last, and under his family name Bui] - Poisson ("pwah-SAWN") - queue ("cue"), like the letter "Q" - Runge-Kutta ("roon-geh coot-tuh") - sans serif ("SAHN SAIR-if") - schema ("SKEE-mah") - Seidel ("ZAY-del") - scalar ("SCALE-are") - spatial ("SPAY-shull") - SPIR-V ("SPEAR-vee") according to [Neil Henning](https://twitter.com/sheredom) - SIGGRAPH ("SIG-raff"), rhymes with "pig laugh" - subsequent ("SUB-seck-went") - Silicon ("SILL-ih-cahn") the element used in circuits, which is distinct from rubbery "silicone" - temporal ("tem-POOR-ull"), but the stress moves between the first and second syllable depending on regional accent - Ubisoft ("YOU-bee-soft") according to [the company](http://www.mtv.com/news/2455972/how-to-pronounce-ubisoft-the-official-explanation/) - Verlet ("vurr-LAY"). The first syllable is like "purr" from a cat - Voronoi ("VOR-own-oy"). Note that Georgy Voronoy was Russian, not French - vignette ("vin-YET") rhymes with "pin bet" - Vive ("vie-v") rhymes with "dive" - Wang [Tiles] ("wong") - Weta ("WHET-ah"), as in, not dry Americans tend to move the accents for the French names to the first syllable, although I'm assured by native French speakers that is incorrect. To respond to requests from folks on Twitter, I'm adding my own name and those of some of my colleagues: - Morgan McGuire ("MORE-gun mick-WIRE") - Cem Yuksel ("gem yook-SELL") - Cyril Crassin ("seer-RILL krass-AWN") - Szirmay-Kalos Lazlo ("SEER-may kal-owe-sh lazz-low") Letters and Numbers =============================================================================== The preferred pronunciation of Greek letters depends on the country in which you are speaking. The common pronunciation used in American English actually differs significantly from how the letters would be pronounced in modern Greece itself. Here are some of the letters that commonly appear in computational graphics equations: American English: - Alpha ("al-fah") - Beta ("bait-ah") - Gamma ("gam-mah") - Delta ("del-tah") - Theta ("they-tah") - Eta ("ay-tah") - Lambda ("lamb-dah") - Mu ("mew") - Pi ("pie") - Phi ("fee" or "fie"), the second rhymes with "die" - Omega ("oh-may-gah" or "oh-me-gah") Modern Greek: - Alpha ("al-fah") - Beta ("vee-ta") - Gamma ("wram-mah") - Delta ("thel-tah") - Theta ("thee-tah") - Eta ("ee-tah") - Lambda ("lamb-thah") - Mu ("me") - Pi ("pee") - Phi ("fee") - Omega ("oh-may-hah") Letters in the Roman alphabet are pronounced mostly the same in English in different countries. The one exception is "z" in American English and UK English. American English: - z ("zee") - number 0 ("zero") - number 1 ("won") UK and Canadian English: - z ("zed") - number 0 ("zero"), rhymes with "hero", although "nought" is sometimes used) - number 1 ("won" or "unity") Beware that although these numerical terms have been standardized today as billion = 109 and trillion = 1012, British and American English historically differed and you could conceivably encounter ambiguity in reading an old text. "Billion" in British English once meant mean 1012 and "trillion" once meant 1018. Painters ===================================================================================== Certain painters occasionally are mentioned in graphics, and expecially in the field of expressive rendering. The surname of Vincent van Gogh pronounced correctly in Dutch sounds something like "van-COCK" to the ears of English speakers. However, British English speakers usually say "van-GOFF" and American English speakers usually say "van-GOH." The BBC recommends "van-GOCK." Old master Tiziano Vecelli is referred to as "Titian" in English, which is pronounced "TISH-en." Dutch nonrepresentational painter Piet Mondrian's surname is usually pronounced "mon-DREE-ahn" in English by art historians. French impressionist Auguste Renoir's surname is pronounced "ren-wah" with the accent on either syllable, relatively close to the original French pronunciation. It is sometimes pronounced "ren-WAHR" by American academics, which is fairly far from the French pronunciation, but still considered acceptable in those circles. Bonus Advice ========================================================================= "Vertices" is the plural of "vertex." There is no word "vertice" in English (or Latin, as far as I know). It is considered acceptable usage today to use "vertexes" as the plural. The same rules apply to "index"/"indices" and "matrix"/"matrices". The word "data" is the plural of "datum." So, you almost always should say "the data *are*" instead of "the data *is*." Try replacing "data" with "datums" in your head to hear if your sentence sounds correct. While "data" is well on its way to becoming singular in common usage due to language drift, beware that using it that way is discordant to older or linguistically conservative scientists and engineers. In everyday usage, art, and anthropology, "artifact" just means "sign," "evidence," or "thing." In experimental sciences, it means data that arose because of the measurement or preparation process. Computer graphics is between art and science in jargon, but either way, beware that "artifact" doesn't strictly mean "error." I recommend that you qualify the word when you mean visual error: "_undesirable_ visual artifact," or simply say, "error." Note that it _is_ correct to say something similar to, "strobing reported by the subject was an artifact of the low frame rate on the display," or "there are some artifacts from the texture compression" (if you are using texture compression in the process, but not if your experiments are on compression itself). It would be confusing to say "there are some shadow artifacts," which leaves ambiguous whether that is an error or simply an aspect of the process. Compound nouns are usually hyphenated in English when using them as adjectives. This is why we write "this is a 64-bit register" using a hyphen, but put no hyphen in "the register holds 64 bits." This rule has [some exceptions](https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/hyphens.asp#:~:text=Rule%201.,is%20called%20a%20compound%20adjective.&text=When%20a%20compound%20adjective%20follows,hyphen%20is%20usually%20not%20necessary.), however, which I only recently learned about myself. They are complicated. I'm sorry. After adding an extra "r" to frustum, the most common spelling mistake in graphics might be forgetting that ["tessellation" has two Ls](http://www.realtimerendering.com/blog/do-you-spell-these-two-words-correctly/). For more general English grammar and spelling advice in technical documents, I recommend Michael Littman's [style guide](http://cs.brown.edu/~mlittman/etc/style.html).