I’ve wondered about this every so often over the years.
How do you think the name Bokonon (specifically, the mountebank(*) from Cat’s Cradle, in case there are others) is supposed to be pronounced?
I’ve heard it said with the accent on the first syllable, and with the accent on the second syllable. I have no idea if there is a defined “canonical” way to say it. (ETA: I’m not aware if Vonnegut himself ever said. Did he ever mention the name in a talk or interview?)
(*) Yes, Bokonon himself calls himself that, towards the end of the book.
I can’t imagine it as anything but dactylous, with an accent on the first syllable, as if it nearly rhymed with Pokemon.
Not only is it how I instinctively read it before I knew what it meant, It’s supposed to be how the name Johnson is pronounced in the area, and Johnson has its first syllable accented. I can only imagine it maps as so: Jo = bo, h = ko nson = non.
ISTM the pronunciation you suggest is the one I’ve heard more often, and I’ve also thought of, and agree with, your logic. But yet, I’ve also heard boKOnon, and it is at least a feasible stress pattern, similar to “forgotten” and “toboggan” and “Pomona”.
I love how in English there’s a word for everything. What an awesome language! Pity it’s so hard to spell though.
In my head, I’ve always pronounced it as an amphibrach, but I’ll switch the the dactyl if that’s the consensus. That seems to make Bokononism a bit harder to say, but it’s not like I say it aloud very often or, in fact, ever.
Throatwobbler Mangrove. Dammit, if you’re going to trot out this joke in every single “How Do You Pronounce …” thread (before I get a chance to do it), then at least get it right!
Maybe it was a koan. I was living in Alabama and was on medical leave. It wasn’t my idea but there I was. I have some friends who live in Washington and Oregon. I mentioned I was in communication with them to my roommate and he suggested since I couldn’t work for a couple of weeks anyway, why not pay them a visit? So I did. The tenet or koan? As I remember it, “Odd travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
Right on. If you say “dactylous” with enough confidence, I’m sure you’ll suppress most of the throaty objections of “Hey, it’s dactylic!” However you pronounce it though, you’ll still have to contend with a bunch of blank stares.
What’s the adjective form of amphibrach anyway?
Isn’t iamb stressed on the first syllable, and doesn’t that make it a trochee? My head is spinning. Poets have a really hard job!
Now, I would have guessed that to be dactylous and/or -ic like Kokomo, but it’s actually an amphibrach?! Also, I just realized that amphibrach is itself a dactyl. This sucks! What a shoddy system!