Dinosaur Name Pronunciations, I & II

I did two surveys of the pronunciations of dinosaur names.  I have found that people, including paleontologists, often pronounce dinosaur names quite differently, and wanted to find out whether there were any definitive right or wrong ways to say them, or at the very least what trends I would find.  I presented both surveys as posters at a paleontology symposium at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY.

The first poster surveyed children’s books, because children’s books are where most people first hear dinosaur names pronounced aloud, and are probably where even most adults get most of their pronunciations from.  It is called A Survey of the Variance in Dinosaur Name Pronunciations in Selected Children’s Books.  It looks at 17 books published over a wide time period, and collects 385 pronunciations of 173 dinosaur names.

The second poster surveyed internet sources.  There are several dictionary-style dinosaur websites, each with huge lists of pronunciations, so I thought it would be worthwhile to look at them both in terms of building a giant data set, and because internet sources are likely to become more and more popular as sources for people to check on pronunciations.  They are also probably more adult oriented, and possibly more scientific than the often (but not always) entertainment-oriented children’s books. It is called A Survey of the Variance in Dinosaur Name Pronunciations in Selected Internet Sources.  It analyzes 10 sites and nearly a thousand species, fora total of 2875 different pronunciations. Interestingly, I found two websites that seemed to plagiarize their pronunciations from other sites.

The two surveys came up with some similar results–that there is a lot of variation in pronunciation–but also some differences.  I recommend reading both posters!

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