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We have a dispute on OEDILF about a pronunciation. I'd really like to hear from people from the US and outside the US. Perhaps there is a US/UK difference in this one?

Question:
In the word "ceramist," which is the preferred syllable to stress?

Choices:
The "cer"
The "a"
The "mist"
Any of the 3 is fine.
No idea.

 
 
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My h.s. senior daughter, who is enjoying her ceramics course at school, insists that her teacher, a Doctor of Ceramics, only speaks of a:

ceramicist... w/ accent on the ram
 
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I would have thought that only 'ceramicist' was proper, and that 'ceramist' was just plain wrong. However, it turns out that the latter has far more ghits, in about a 5:2 ratio.
 
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I too stress the "ra" suh-RA-mist
 
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According to Wordweb the words ceramist and ceramicist are exact synonyms. Sadly my COED doesn't have ceramist so I can only guess at the pronunciation and I would stress it as I would stress words like "journalist" or "hobbyist".

Ceramicist I would stress with the accent on the second syllable.


Richard English
 
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I would also say "ceramicist", but if I had to say ceramist, I would pronunce it the same way as TrossL.
 
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quote:
Ceramicist I would stress with the accent on the second syllable.

Excuse me? Aren't you arguing it the other way on OEDILF? Roll Eyes

Yes, I always thought the word was ceramicist, too.

I did go to the OED and found that they only have one pronunciation listed with the stress on the "cer," which is how the author (Stella from New Zealand) is pronouncing it. I'd love to hear from some other non-Americans on this (besides Richard who is confusing me no end!).
 
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I doubt that I would ever use the word, but if I did I would probably pronounce it ceRAmist. Dictionary.com Unabridged (vl.l.) and the AHD both list suh-ram-ist first and ser-uh-mist second. Wordnet doesn't offer any prouounciation, but adds "syn: potter." That's probably the word I would use. The OED Online pronounces it siramist.

I thought ceramicist would be the older of the two words and shortened through time to ceramist. But I would be wrong.The OED Online gives the first citation for ceramist as 1855, and ceramicist (siramisist). That sounds like ceramicist is a hypercorrection.


By the way, I can't reproduce all the pronunciation symbols the OED Online uses, so my transliterations (is that the right word?) may not be exact.

Tinman
 
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If you consider the symbols the OED uses to be a separate alphabet, then converting it to regular English symbols with hyphens and bolding, it could be considered transliteration.
 
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quote:
Excuse me? Aren't you arguing it the other way on OEDILF?

No.

I would say "CEramist" or "cerAMicist" if I needed to (but would probably opt for potter to save the worry).


Richard English
 
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quote:
I thought ceramicist would be the older of the two words and shortened through time to ceramist. But I would be wrong. The OED Online gives the first citation for ceramist as 1855, and ceramicist 1930.
I'd have thought the same as you, tinman. I was also suprised to find that cemamist was not that uncommon of a word. Even now, it seems to have remained the more common of the two.
 
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Not surprisingly the OED got it right. I too, would stress the first syllable. As in terrorist.
 
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quote:
Not surprisingly the OED got it right.
Yes, just like they have the spelling of realize correct. Wink

Did you vote, Pearce? Richard? Now there are 10 for serAMist and still 0 for SERamist.

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If I came across "ceramist", I would stress it the same way as I stress "ceramics". (Second syllable.) That may not be right, but it is not surprising that most others here are voting the same way.


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Yes, just like they have the spelling of realize correct.

I realise you're joking but, as I have said previously, either formation is correct over here, although "realise" is more common. The OED prefers "realize" as its house style but it's no big deal.

And I have not voted on this topic although I have explained my position. I prefer not to vote on guesswork.


Richard English
 
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It looks like the US stresses the 2nd syl and UK the first. I know it's a generalisation but it seems to me that Americans are more likely to similarly pronounce two words that are similarly spelt, (serAMic, serAMist) and UK-type speakers are more likely to hold on to different pronunciations. Hit me over the head if I'm wrong!

I wrote another lim for American ceramists and dedicated it to Kalleh.
 
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We in the US are quite non-violent, Stella, so there will be no hits on the head. (I suspect we will hear from Richard any minute now. Wink)

You may be right about American pronunciations. Still, I am perplexed by this thread because only 1 person voted for the SERamist pronunciation, while 10 voted for the serAMist. I'm thinking some non-Americans voted for the latter way, too, though maybe it was by mistake.

Can't wait to see my dedication!
 
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As I asked elsewhere, in the USA how do you pronounce words like "journalist", "hobbyist", "bigamist"? Nobody has yet answered me.


Richard English
 
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quote: As I asked elsewhere, in the USA how do you pronounce words like "journalist", "hobbyist", "bigamist"?

Sorry to have missed your question. I'd pronounce them journalist, hobbyist and bigamist, with accents on the first syllable, just as in journal, hobby and bigamy.
 
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I only made the connection because the word was unfamiliar to me. There are words that are similar that Americans stress differently, such as

economy, economize, economist, but economics.


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I voted for serAMist although I can't guess how others would pronounce it since it's not the sort of word that crops up in everyday conversation.


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I pronounce them wordnerd's way, Richard, which seems consistent to me. I say JERnal and then JERnalist. I say serAMics, and then serAMist. If I said SERamics, then I'd probably say SERamist. Do you say SERamics?

The SERamist pronunciation doesn't seem to be consistent across non-Americans, though that may be because the word isn't used much.
 
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quote:
If I said SERamics, then I'd probably say SERamist. Do you say SERamics?

No. But the word "ceramist" is not derived directly from "ceramics". That word is "ceramicist" - and we agree about its pronunciation. Indeed, if "ceramist" derived from any word at all it would derive from "ceram" - a word that , so far as I know, does not exist.

Thus I contend that it is as correct to pronounce "ceramist" as those other "ist" words that we have discussed as it is to pronounce it "ceRAHmist".


Richard English
 
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Well, I suppose we could go on for years arguing this. However, to your point that "ceramist" isn't directly derived from "ceramics," here is what AHD says:

"ce·ram·ist (sə-rām'ĭst, sěr'ə-mĭst) Pronunciation Key
n. One who makes ceramic objects or artwork.


[ceram(ic) + -ist.] "
 
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Indeed. But removing the final syllable fro "ceramic" alters the pronunciation of the word.

"Serum" is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable and I am sure that "cerum" would be pronounced in the same way.


Richard English
 
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Interesting to note: acádemy, ácademics, ácademist. I'm not sure what all the hubbub is about, but it probably has to do with metrics in some limerick. British English and the US variety have been diverging in pronunciation and vocabulary for several centuries now. A pattern that intrigues me is distríbute ~ dístributed (BE), distríbuted (AE),


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Indeed. But removing the final syllable fro "ceramic" alters the pronunciation of the word.

Richard, I posted the quote from AHD to show that, indeed, "ceramist" comes from "ceramics" because you had said, "But the word 'ceramist' is not derived directly from 'ceramics'." My statement from the AHD countered that. Your response, the quote above, merely addressed the pronunciation again, and we had already sorted that out.

I'd like to know if you disagree with AHD's thesis that "ceramist" comes from "ceramics;" if so, please cite your source. If you agree, were you wrong when you said ceramist isn't directly derived from ceramics?
 
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Of course "ceramist" comes from "ceramic" - I never denied that. But it does not come DIRECTLY from "ceramic". There is an intermediate stage where the "non-word" "ceram" appears.

Journalist comes directly from journal; terrorist comes directly from terror; hobbyist comes directly from hobby. But if you simply add "ist" to ceramic you get ceramicist, not ceramist.

A more apt comparison might come from "atheist" - which I am sure you pronounce with the accent on the first syllable.


Richard English
 
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Richard, I don't know how to make it clearer than AHD was: ceram(ic)+ist. To me, that indicates that, indeed, it comes "directly" from "ceramics."
 
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To me, that indicates that, indeed, it comes "directly" from "ceramics."

And I don't know how to make it clearer that it has an intermediate stage - that of having a couple of letters removed. If you simply add "ist" to "ceramic" then you get "ceramicist" - and we both agree on the pronunciation of that. Remove the "ic" and that creates a different word and there are two schools of though on how it should be pronounced.

By the way, how do you pronounce "atheist"?


Richard English
 
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Many words drop inconvenient letters before adding a suffix. I don't think that is grounds for a claim that the new word does not come directly from the base word

Richard, how do you pronounce "biologist" or "Vedantist"? What are you hoping to achieve by listing a lot of first syllable stress examples that do not have similar vowel sounds to the word in question? I admit that there are words that may change in stress when you add an -ist, such as some pronunciations of "pianist" and "ceramist", but you seem to be implying that one should count on a change.


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quote:
but you seem to be implying that one should count on a change.

No. I am simply saying that there are two ways that reference sources suggest that ceramist could be pronounced - and I plump for the accent on the first syllable - which is the way than may three-syllable words ending in "ist" are pronounced. To suggest that it must be pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, simply because "ceramic" is thus pronounced is, to my mind, based on the faulty reasoning that "ceramist" is directly comparable in pronunciation as "ceramicist".

Your example of "pianist" is a good one. I don't know of any version of UK English that stresses other than the first syllable of "pianist" (and the second syllable of "piano").


Richard English
 
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The AHD gives the two pronunciations for pianist in the U.S. that I know of. Someone once told me that the concert pianist was accented on the second syllable (AHD's first pronunciation), while others were accented on the first. MW gives only one pronunciation (accent on first syllable), while Dictionary.com Unabridged gives three, including pyan-ist. I've never heard that one before. All the UK dictionaries that I looked at accented the first syllable, as you said.

Tinman
 
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If you simply add "ist" to "ceramic" then you get "ceramicist

Come now, Richard. You act like you are just learning English or something. There are so many odd changes in words on English. One tiny example: How do you spell the person who plays the flute? Is it "fluteist?" No...it's flutist or flautist, which really is perplexing. And you don't think it's possible that ceramist came directly from ceramics?

I admitted in another thread that you were right and I was wrong. It's time for you to admit you are wrong.
 
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One tiny example: How do you spell the person who plays the flute? Is it "fluteist?" No...it's flutist or flautist, which really is perplexing.

And how do you stress each of the different words, both derived from "flute"?


Richard English
 
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If I were to say the words, I would pronounce "fluteist and flutist" the same, with the accent on the long "u" in the first syllable. I would probably also say, without doing any research, that the first isn't even a word. (just like "oboist" drops the e) I would not use either word, though, because I was always taught to call them "flautists".


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And how do you stress each of the different words, both derived from "flute"?

Richard, you are playing with me, aren't you? I meant that the spelling was changed for both "flutist" and "flautist," just like it was with "ceramist." Otherwise, it would be "fluteist," as in "ceramicist." The point is, I want you to say, "I'm wrong." Razz
 
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The point is, I want you to say, "I'm wrong."

I realise that - but according to the various postings and dictionary references I am not. There are two ways of pronouncing ceramist so it's not a matter or wrong or right; it's a matter of preference.

I prefer to stress the first syllable, as is the case with many other tri-syllabic words ending in "ist". To suggest that it is wrong so to do (and thus that I am wrong to do it) flies in the face of both reason and the many postings and references.


Richard English
 
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I realise that - but according to the various postings and dictionary references I am not.

Frustration is setting in. Mad Richard, I am not talking about the pronunciation, okay? That was settled posts ago. I am providing evidence for you (the spelling of "flutist" and "flautist") that, indeed, "ceramist" came directly from "ceramics," as the dictionaries even clearly say. "Flutist" and "flautist" come from "flute;" the spelling was changed, otherwise the word would be "fluteist." "Ceramist" comes from "ceramics;" the spelling was changed.

No one on this earth is always right. It really is okay to be wrong once in awhile.
 
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I see we are arguing about the expression "directly", not pronunciation. I apologise; I didn't realise that was the issue.

My point was not that "ceramist" didn't some from "ceramic", but that it came from it with an intermediate stage. This is not always the case. Without having to do a lot of searching, I don't know whether there's a rule about this but I have noticed that words ending in "ist" that are formed simply by adding "ist" seem usually (but not always) to retain the stress of the original word: violinist; organist; percussionist. But those that modify the original word seem more often to change their stress: piano/pianist; saxophone/saxophonist; xylophone/xylophonist.


Richard English
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Richard English:
My point was not that "ceramist" didn't some from "ceramic", but that it came from it with an intermediate stage.


I'm sorry Richard but, as anyone with even an elementary knowledge of linguistics will tell you, this is simply not true.

"Ceramist" was not formed from "ceramics" via some intermediate stage it was formed from "ceramics".

There are many ways in which one word is formed from another including the addition of prefixis and suffixes (happy->unhappy, joy->joyful), clipping of the front, back or other parts of the word (advertisement ->ad, telephone -> phone, influenza -> flu, mathematics ->maths), blends (breakfast + lunch -> brunch), compounds (flower + pot -> flowerpot) and so on.

To suggest that if the spelling of the result does not match the spelling of the word from which it is derived then there must be an intermediate form is plainly nonsense.

So if we are to say
ceramics->ceram->ceramist
then we must be consistent and say
begin->beginn->beginner
and
happy->happi->happiness.

Would you really propose that because of a simple spelling change "happiness" was formed from "happy" via an intermediate form?


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quote:
Ceramist" was not formed from "ceramics" via some intermediate stage it was formed from "ceramics".

Possibly my terminology was wrong - but we agree there are two words, "ceramist" and "ceramicist". The formation of each is different and that was the point I was trying to make. And, as I have also posted, different formations often give rise to different pronunciations.

We all seem to agree the "ceramicist" is stressed on the second syllable; where we don't agree is where "ceramist" is stressed. My feeling is that it should change its stress as does, for example, piano/pianist. Others disagree.

It seems OED accept both pronunciations but MW does not. I will continue to stress the first syllable as that seems to be more natural to me. I would certainly struggle with "piAHNist"


Richard English
 
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When in doubt, go back to the pronunciation issue, right Richard? That was solved awhile ago; there are regional differences, that's all.

I didn't just choose "flute" out of the air. I chose it because it, too, has 2 spellings of one who plays the flute: "flutist" or "flautist," much like "ceramist" or "ceramicist." Same thing.
 
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If we agree about the different spellings and the different pronunciations - what are we arguing about ;-)


Richard English
 
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Arguing? We were arguing?


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Arguing? We were arguing?

Heaven forefend!


Richard English
 
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I've been trying to follow the gist of this argument, but I'm not really sure what's what. (1) There's a word ceramist which seems to be a near synonym of ceramicist; (2) both words were coined in the mid 19th century; (3) some pronounce ceramist with an accent on the ante-penultimate and others on the penultimate syllable. What's the big deal? Neither pronunciation is more correct than the other. Neither is more logical. Neither is less ambiguous. They're just different.


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The only one who seems to understand the gist of this debate, besides me, is Bob. Sorry for confusing the rest of you, but, frankly, I think Richard is purposely trying to make this confusing because he knows he is wrong. Posts ago we have agreed about the pronunciation differences and that hasn't been in dispute, from my point of view, since about the 3rd post here. However, these 2 comments of Richards are what I have been trying to discuss.
quote:
No. But the word "ceramist" is not derived directly from "ceramics". That word is "ceramicist" - and we agree about its pronunciation. Indeed, if "ceramist" derived from any word at all it would derive from "ceram" - a word that , so far as I know, does not exist.
quote:
Of course "ceramist" comes from "ceramic" - I never denied that. But it does not come DIRECTLY from "ceramic". There is an intermediate stage where the "non-word" "ceram" appears.

As Bob said above (nice analysis, Bob), that is nonsense. I think Richard realizes it now, too, so he keeps talking about the pronunciation or pretending to be confused.

At any rate, I give up. Richard, if you wish to think there was some intermediate word, such as "ceram" in order for "ceramist" to have been formed, go ahead and think that. I assume you must also think there was an intermediate word "flaut" before "flautist" was formed and "flut" before "flutist" was formed, since English, in your opinion, is just so logical at all times.

Sorry for sounding crabby, but I haven't been this frustrated since my kids were little! If I see the word "pronunciation" used in this thread again, I think I will blow up my computer. Mad

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flautist

Flute and flautist came into English via two very different languages: French and Italian respectively. In other words, the latter is not derived, directly, from the former.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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OOh - that's interesting, Z. I had no idea. I assumed they were related, being about the same instrument.


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