pronunciation: etcetera (etc.)

Thomas1

Senior Member
polszczyzna warszawska
Also to be avoided is the common mispronunciation “excetera.” “And etc.” is a redundancy.
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/ect.html

Is this a normal pronunciation of etc. used beside the correct one*? I am especially interested in the following part marked in bold: “excetera.”

* I don't know the correct one but I would prnounce it [etsetr3]. So your pronunciation will be also appreciated. :)
3=schwa


Tom
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    I would pronounce it the same way you do.

    As for "excetera" being "normal", I suppose it depends on your definition of "normal." :) I've certainly heard it over the years but it always sounds a little uneducated to me. That may be a personal bias. (I think what I have heard is more like "Ecksetera".) I have similar problems with "nucular" for nuclear, "axe" for ask, and "fusstrated" for frustrated. They are what I would call "colloquial pronunciations." I would call them non-standard but widespread in some regions and groups. I apologize in advance if I'm being a language snob. :(
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'd pronounce it like you, James and Rover.

    I think we have a consensus here:)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The Latin is "et cetera" = "and the rest/ the other things".
    "ex" is an error, perhaps resulting from the way people hear the pronunciation of the abbreviation.

    (I agree with Rover's pronunciation.)
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Thanks for your anwers. :)
    I would pronounce it the same way you do.

    As for "excetera" being "normal", I suppose it depends on your definition of "normal." :) I've certainly heard it over the years but it always sounds a little uneducated to me. That may be a personal bias. (I think what I have heard is more like "Ecksetera".) I have similar problems with "nucular" for nuclear, "axe" for ask, and "fusstrated" for frustrated. They are what I would call "colloquial pronunciations." I would call them non-standard but widespread in some regions and groups. I apologize in advance if I'm being a language snob. :(
    By normal I mean another variant, which is well established in English. I have never heard such a pronunciation of etc. and when I came across the information quoted that it was common I thought the one I use, or “excetera”, could somehow be linguistically marked (posh, snobbish, etc. ;)). Now I know the latter one is a bit substandard.

    Tom

    EDIT: James, I have just found something à propos your version, it seems you may get it well :):
    http://www.bartleby.com/64/C007/080.html
    Actually you need to go to this page as it doesn't display well here. ;(
     
    Last edited:

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    The Latin is "et cetera" = "and the rest/ the other things".
    "ex" is an error, perhaps resulting from the way people hear the pronunciation of the abbreviation.
    [...]
    I believe the classical Latin pronunciation is [etketera].

    Tom
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    They are what I would call "colloquial pronunciations." I would call them non-standard but widespread in some regions and groups. I apologize in advance if I'm being a language snob. :(
    Actually, I would say language-perceptive.

    English is rife with mispronunciations of words that are unfamiliar to the speaker, who then tries to muddle through - perhaps aided in his or her confusion by prevailing peer groups.

    Some others

    Sherbet - mispronounced sherBERT.
    Espresso - mispronounced EXpresso
    Arthritis - mispronounced ARTHURitis
    Chaise longue - mispronounced chaise LOUNGE

    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    MODERATOR NOTE: Please deal only with the pronunciation of et cetera, rather than listing commonly mispronounced words, of which there are plenty:)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I believe the classical Latin pronunciation is [etketera].

    Tom
    Right. However, the common modern pronunciation is et setera, and the ts combination is difficult in English. At least, that is my explanation for the substitution of ks (=x) for ts.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    In "it-self" and "out-side" the sounds are attached to different sylables. At the end of a word, like "cats", for instance, there is also no problem.

    English speakers do often have trouble with ts as a continuous sound at the onset of a syllable (as in 'tsimmas'). I think that many people understand etc. to be one word, pronounced "etsetera", and so are inclined to run ts together, which is awkward, and so substitute another double consonant x (=ks) which is easier. However, this is only my hyposthesis. I am not claiming any special authority on the matter.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    It seems to me that "et-cet-er-a" is also a case of the sounds being attached to different syllables. "Jetsetter" doesn't seem to give many people problems and it is almost the same set of sounds for the first three syllables.
     
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    Anonymous1234

    New Member
    Afrikaans - Cape
    This is an interesting discussion. There was a time when I thought et cetera is pronounced et-KE-te-ra, but I don't recall ever hearing someone say it that way.

    Around Cape Town I have heard some people say ek-SET-ra, and upon approaching one person about this, he told me that my pronunciation, which then was et-SE-te-ra, was incorrect.

    Is the consensus that et-SE-te-ra is the most common pronunciation? Is et-KE-te-ra acceptable and is it ever used?

    English is not my first language.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Right. However, the common modern pronunciation is et setera, and the ts combination is difficult in English. At least, that is my explanation for the substitution of ks (=x) for ts.
    I agree, I remember a Welsh girlfriend (well educated) who could not say, "Acts"; she said "Ax"
    Is the consensus that et-SE-te-ra is the most common pronunciation? Is et-KE-te-ra acceptable and is it ever used?
    Hi and welcome!

    Looking back, native BE speakers have replied that 'et-set-ra.' seems to be the consensus, although I (BE) say "et-cet-er-a" or "et-cet'ra" - a wider AE perspective would be interesting.

    I think that et-KE-te-ra would certainly raise eyebrows - even with an explanation.:)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I think English speakers always pronounce the <c> as a /s/ rather than /k/. I think I almost always hear the three-syllable pronunciation (which mine is), and the four-syllable version tends to sound 'foreign'.
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    I think 'et-set-ra', "et-set-tra" and "et-set-er-a" are all the same. What makes them appear different is because of the speed we say the word: "te-ra" when said quickly becomes "tra".
     

    timtfj

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think the main problems with etc. are (i) many people don't know what the Latin means, never having been taught any Latin, and (ii) the word is often misspelt as *ect. The wrong spelling then makes sense of the wrong pronunciation: maybe they think it's short for something like *ECseTera, or *Ex CeTera??? But if you know that it's Latin for "and others" and that Latin for and is et, then there's no reason to pronounce the T as anything other than a T.

    I don't know if that's the explanation, but it seems plausible.

    (In the above, an asterisk * means that the word or phrase is wrong.)
     

    Damnjoe

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    I think that the fact that both /t/ and /s/ are alveolar consonants, pronounced in the same part of the mouth, leads to a tendency for dissimulation in some dialects. Not necessarily wrong, but not the standard dialect. I didn't even realize I did it, or that other people didn't, until I was learning Spanish.

    As an aside, the classical Latin pronunciation of et cētera /ˌet ˈkeː.te.ra/ would not have triggered dissimilation because the palataliztion of /k/ had not taken place yet. I don't know why some people pronounce it that way.

    I think 'et-set-ra', "et-set-tra" and "et-set-er-a" are all the same. What makes them appear different is because of the speed we say the word: "te-ra" when said quickly becomes "tra".
    It's very common in American English to drop the middle vowel of consonant clusters in the middle of words. Think comfortable, temperature, laboratory. Most people don't even realize they do it when they're speaking fast (i.e. Normal speech). So this is two different linguistic processes going on (dissimulation and elision) in some dialects of English.
     
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