How do you pronounce "Harassment"

No. Nor do we say “keh-LOM-ehters”. We say “ki-LAH-muhters”, keeping the prefix and unit distinct (barring sloppy pronunciatilon.) And it makes every bit as much sense as pronouncing “Worcester” as “wuster”. Or Cholmondley as “Chumley”

English has also – in my perception, maybe more – a bent for stressing a word’s first syllable. As in the thing about the sweater-type garment called a pullover. In the original English, it’s PULL-o-ver; German and French, in borrowing the word (and its spelling), render it respectively pull-OH-ver; and pull-o-VER (last syllable pronounced “vair”).

Oddly enough, Merriam-Webster claims otherwise:

That seems counterintuitive to me, and they don’t cite any source. But who knows. I use both pronunciations. More often, it’s stress on the second syllable, but it’s probably only like a 60-40 split between the two.

I think I do it both ways, probably more often accent on the first syllable. I won’t even notice how you say it.

It’s similar to the plural of house. I grew up in Philly, where houses (actually housez) is standard, but practically everywhere else they use the irregular houzez and I use either and do not even hear the difference any more.

Huh. I never noticed that. The “s” is always voiced at the end, but the “s” in the middle can go either way. I think I usually say it with an unvoiced “s”, but now that I think about it, it seems like in slow or deliberate speech, I say “howsez,” but in rapid or spontaneous speech, it comes out more like “howzez.”

I probably say ‘houZeZ’ every time. I kind of think that it’s really ‘houSeS’, and that’s with much more S than Z at the end, but it’s coming out houZeZ every time. On the other hand, I never thought ‘housed’ could be pronounced any way but ‘houZed’.

Makes sense to me. Scientists also say mag-NOM-eter and spec-TROM-eter and interferi-OM-eter instead of MAGNO-meter and SPECTRO-meter and INTERFERIO-meter.

That’s true, too. And what about “multimeter”?

No, I’ve never heard anyone say mul-TIM-eter, but there is al-TIM-eter and ba-ROM-eter and hy-GROM-eter.

Mul-TIM-eter is the way I hear it usually said around here, and the other ones, too.

I have never in my life heard it pronounced mul-TIM-eter. Why would it be? It’s not a device to measure mults, it’s a multi-meter, it measures multiple characteristics.

Because English pronunciation is quirky, but tends to follow the rules of the other words mentioned in Darren Garrison’s post? The same argument you’re making can be made for the word “speedometer.” Do you pronounce it “SPEED-o-MEEter” or “spuh-DOM-eter.”? Seriously, I mostly hear “multimeter” that way. I mean, go ahead, click on the pronunciation here on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. (This is not to say I don’t hear it the other way, too, but the second syllable accent pronunciation is the one I’m most used to.)

A spuh-DOM-iter measures speed. A multimeter doesn’t measure mults. A speedometer doesn’t measure speedos, the O in the middle relates the meter to the measurement. The I in multi is part of multi, and that describes the quantity of meters, it’s not related the same way as the others.

It doesn’t really matter. In English, there is a tendency to place the accent on the syllable before “meter.” Like, kill-OM-eter, all-TIM-eter, spuh-DOM-eter, ba-ROM-eter; mul-TIM-eter follows this pattern. I’m not saying your logic doesn’t have a modicum of merit to it; it’s just that, when it comes to language, there is no one “logical” way to do it. My logic says follow the way all the other words work. (And, incidentally, the way you pronounce it is the way I originally pronounced it until being corrected.) Do whatever is most common in your dialect. Logic, in the end, really has little to do with it.

As a trained electrician starting 50 years ago, I’ve never heard it pronounced as anything other than multi-meter, for the above reason.

Anyhow, here’s a whole thread about it on the Dope. Looks like your pronunciation is the most common, but a number of “mul-TIM-eter” responses there, too (and I wasn’t involved in that thread.) Maybe I’ll go back to my original pronunciation of the word.

As an electronics technologist I agree. It is always pronounced multeh-meter.

ETA: ninja’d on mul-TIM-eter.

We had an amazing thread on mul-TIM-eter a couple years ago. IIRC it sorta broke down that Aussies prefer that pronunciation. Don’t get us started on “sodder” vs. sold-er".

I also think there’s a fundamental difference between words like kilometer and words like barometer. In the former, “meter” is a unit of measure and the “kilo” is a scaling multiplier. In the latter, “meter” means measuring device and “baro” is the property being measured.

I personally favor keeping the former types of words like Legos. IOW millimeter and kilometer should snap apart and back together with the same pronunciation throughout.

Likewise speedometer and barometer ought to snap apart and back together sounding the same.

But I see no reason to make the two cases the same. In fact making them different clarifies which kind of “meter” we’re talking about.

Which brings me to my conclusion: We need to rename the SI unit of length to reduce ambiguity. :slight_smile:

And while we’re at it, eliminate the silliness that was cgs and still is mks. mgs is the only system that respects fundamental units.

Ah, that’s it though! Everyone here in Canada (as far as I know) pronounces speedometer and kilometer the same way, except news talking heads who say kilometer like millimeter.

No one in real life says this.

Having read the other thread, there is one glaring error there that must be addressed. Leeloo had orange hair, not red!