antennae / antennas [especially pronunciation]

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duden

Senior Member
Slovak
Hi,
please how do you pronounce the plural form of the word "antenna" - meaning those things that insects have on their heads?

Thank you
 
  • Gordonedi

    Senior Member
    UK (Scotland) English
    I would say an-tenn-ae , rhyming with pie and eye, as taught by Miss Willis my Latin teacher a long time ago (but not so far back that the Romans were living around here ! :D).
     

    Wobby

    Senior Member
    English [England]
    Well, I've always pronounced antennae as 'An - tenn - I', with the 'I' as in the first person singular pronoun and stress on 'tenn'. I'm not sure if that's the official pronunciation though... According to the first site Google comes up with if you search 'antennae pronounced', it is allegedly 'An - ten -ee', but I've never pronounced it that way before. :)

    I guess it makes sense in terms of the word 'haemoglobin' though...
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Do you mean "antennae"? I would pronounce this as either [AN-TEN-EE] or [AN-TEN-AY]. I think the [-EE] version is more correct, because it comes from Latin.

    However, "antennas" is also an accepted plural, according to dictionary.com. This would be pronounced [AN-TEN-AHZ].
     

    gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    When I went to school, the "ae" was pronounced as is "aye aye sir". At the time we were told that there had been considerable debate over the centuries, and in the early 1940s, such a pronunciation was used as the most likely.
     

    Eigenfunction

    Senior Member
    England - English
    I would also pronounce it to rhyme with pie, eye and aye aye. I read somewhere that the original pronunciation is closer to 'I' than the more Anglicised 'ee'. However, it is difficult to know how the Romans really pronounced their language. Also, it is arguably not relevant, since few people would talk of 'Yoolee-oos K-ai-sser' rather than 'Julius See-zar'; Antennae is ultimately an English word now, not a Latin one.
     

    gasman

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    I would suggest that there was no fixed pronunciation, or word usage, among the Romans, any more than there is among English speakers of today. Both groups were, and are, widely scattered, and variation is inevitable.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Merriam-Webster's audio clip suggests the -ee pronunciaion.

    [This is not based on the Latin pronunciation. In classical Latin, the dipthong -ae was pronounced as the -ai in aisle, according to all the authorities I know.]
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I assume there are no more takers for the antennas version. Gee up, horsey, we're nearly at the end of this particular lonely furrow.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I assume there are no more takers for the antennas version. Gee up, horsey, we're nearly at the end of this particular lonely furrow.
    Take heart, Ewie. Dictionary.com includes antennas as the plural for what they describe as "a metallic apparatus for sending or receiving electromagnetic waves."
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes, I have been thinking about it, Cagey, and it seems to me that I'd call an insect's bits antennae [pronounced an-tenny] but the radio jobbies antennas.
     

    xbrosss

    New Member
    Spanish
    Hello, I'm new to this forum :) I've always had this question: how to pronounce words that end with ae, like antennae and abscissae?

    I know those are obscure words, but I can't remember any others at the moment.

    Thanks in advance, any comment about my grammar or something is useful, I'm Chilean.
     

    Ste_72

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Dear all,
    talking about telecommunication systems, an English colleague uses "Antennas" as the plural of "Antenna", while another one uses "Antennae". Which is the most appropriate?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I agree with Paul, antennae for the item in the telecommunication equipment would be insupportably pretentious. Only antennas. But I tend to say aerials ... :p

    Antennae for insect feelers is fine.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Having learned my Latin under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church, I always pronounce the Latin diphthong "ae" to rhyme with the English word "say." But I see that I belong to a minuscule minority.
     

    Ms. Senyak

    New Member
    English- North America
    Well, I have committed to 'an-ten-eye', and there will now be a new generation of Richmond kids following suit. I spent a few weeks teaching my kindergartners about insect mouth and body parts, and after recess one day, one little girl held up her long braids over her head and said, 'Look Ms. Senyak, I have antennae!' with perfect Latin pronunciation:)
     
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