How do you pronounce RE:?

In letters and emails, is “re” as in “re: topic” pronounced “ree” or as the letters R E?

rae I think

As one word. It’s from the Latin in re ( ablative of res, a thing), meaning ‘in the matter’. If you want to pronounce it in the Latin way, it sounds like ‘ray’.

Thanks! I heard two different people call it R.E. this week. Good thing I didn’t get all uppity about it since I always thougt it was ‘ree’ as in regarding.

It’s only ‘ray’ if you’re going for Church Latin or Classical Latin - ‘ree’ is the normal English pronunciation.

I checked a few dictionaries; it seems ree and ray are both acceptable.

Of course, it stands for regarding, so you could probably say that as well if you want to. I do sometimes, in the same way that I sometimes translate other Latin phrases when reading something to someone else, mostly when reading manuals or something when the other guy is under a car or whatever.

Well considering it is latin…

I just say “regarding.” says “ree” (well, more correctly, it says re, with a straight line over the “e”).

I thought it meant “Reason”

Nope, re is not an abbreviation for “regarding” or “reason”. As Jabba said, re is the Latin word for “in the matter of”. It’s the ablative form of the Latin word res, meaning “thing” or “piece of business”. And because re is in the ablative form, the phrase in re does seem to be redundant.

Oddly, when I come to think of it, I pronounce it both ways. If it’s on its own, like the “re:” line of a memo, I say “ree.” But in the phrase “in re,” sometimes seen in the captions of legal cases, I say “in ray.”

Pointless additional FYI: Cases that are titled things like “In the matter of the Discipline of John Smith” are abbreviated “In re Smith.” In the U.S., that is. No idea elsewhere. And sometimes, in search and seizure/forfeiture cases, when the government doesn’t know the owner of the article, you get titles like “In the Matter of $100,000 Seized By The U.S. Treasury” or In the Matter of One Red Porche, VIN No. #######"

Why would that be? In takes the ablative (or the accusative).

Actually, to pronounce it in Latin you would need to roll the R.

Jodi, sometimes, in eminent domain cases, it’s even better; e.g., United States v. Fifty Acres of Land.

Ray and ree are not Latin but English pronunciations. In Latin it would be re as in reh or regarding. Like the e is pronounced in Romance languages, not in English.

The e of res is the long e. You can hear the pronunciation of the sound here. Also, aryk29 is quite correct about the rolled r. So, it would be pronounced ‘rrray’.

Having said that, I always pronounce it ‘ree’. The likely result of the Latin pronunciation is to have your friends think of you as a pretentious fop.

Hmm. You say that like it’s a bad thing…

In the matter of == regarding, does it not? Pretty close.