Seesil or sessil?

How is Cecil’s name pronounced, or at least how does Cecil prefer it to be pronounced?
Here in Australia, and back in my native Britain Cecil is pronounced “Sessil”, but I’ve heard the Yanks prefer “Seesil”.
Not a cerebral topic I know…

suhREEbrul or SERubrul?

I think SEEsil is an American, so I pronounce his name that way. Not like SESSil Rhodes.

(I pronounce it suhREEbrul, by the way.)

Thanks Boris.
By the way, does anyone actually pronounce potato “potahto”?

I can only recall having heard the potahto pronunciation in the song, although I’ve heard the tomahto pronunciation a lot from British folks. (I can’t recall having heard the potayto pronuciation from British folks either, which shows you that either Britons don’t talk much about potatoes, or my memory is bad.)

I had forgotten, but there’s a bunch of other threads on this topic, including:

Thanks again.
My how-to-pronounce-Cecil topic seems to have been so spectacularly unoriginal that there should be a permanent banner at the top of the page “It’s pronounced Seesil so don’t ask”…

I would pronounce it “seSEEL”. It’s kind of (kind of!) like the elephant character in the children’s books, Babar. That is, several different ways to pronounce it, I’d put the accent on the second syllable. This violates most of the rules regarding English pronounciation – words generally being accented on the first (and third) syllables. This is part of why I’m having such a hard time speaking Spanish — I keep wanting to accent the first syllable, not the second.

On a sside note: I heard someone say “tomahto” today, and I can’t remember ever hearing that used (non-facetiously) before. Of course, he was Canadian, so that would explain it… :smiley:

[Of course, after reading the other threads … I’m wrong, according to M-W ('s Dictionary). But I still like my version.]

His name is pronounced Ba-BAR? How creepy. I always thought it was BA-bar.

As for Cecil Adams’ name…I always said it like “seSEEL” too, but I think that is mainly because I knew a female named Cecille, and I have never known anyone named Cecil.

The only time I can remember seeing a television character named Cecil was on a “Simpsons” episode featuring Sideshow Bob and his brother by that name. They pronounced it SESS-il.

Or maybe it was SEES-el, my attention span ain’t what it used to be.

Oh, look! A blue car!

Bob & Cecil pronouced it SEES-el; everyone else said

Well, now I feel vindicated. Or maybe I just ate too many chicken wings.

It is BA-bar. Haven’t you ever seen the show? If you haven’t, they accent the first syllable (BA-bar).

What, it’s not “Kee Kuhl”? Ack! :smiley:

Regarding the elephant, the one time I heard it, it was “buh bar’” like in “buh-bye”, not “ba’ ber” or “ba’ bar”. Not like I make a habit out of studying cartoon elephants.

Well, I always thought it was Ba-BAR, but then I say Sessil, and tomahto… I’ve never heard anyone say potahto, though.
Where was the show made?

My first post - and on such a suhREEbrul topic :slight_smile:
Here’s a thing - I say suhREEbrul, except for SERubrul Palsy - I wonder why that is?

If we’re getting our received pronunciations from cartoons, then my influence has to be SEEsil the SEEsick SEEserpent from the classic Bob Clampett Beany & Cecil cartoon series of my misspent youth.

“The Universe never did make sense. I suspect that it was built on a government contract.”
–Robert Heinlein, The Number of the Beast

I think I am going to post a question to Cecil about How English became a language in which there are no rules for pronunciation of the written words: Why do you have to be taught how to pronounce a word you see written? Why do words such as read or lead have a different pronunciation depending on the MEANING? How is it that the most difficult subject in high school is SPELLING, and not algebra of physics? Who gets the right to invent the pronunciation of a new word? Was English written with some other alphabet at some time and lost its grip when moved to this?

In Spanish, this whole thread can be solved by any four year old kid…

Welcome to the SDMB Juan Agudelo. To get an answer to your question, you should repost it in either our “General Questions” forum. This forum is for commentary on Straight Dope columns.

moderator, «Comments on Cecil’s Columns»

Juan, modern English is a composite language of Anglo, Saxon, French, Latin, and Greek. Each of these has had an influence on spelling and pronunciation. (See, shouldn’t that be pron<i>ou</i>nciation?) Thus the specifics of each word is dependent on that word’s particular history.

Thanks, Irishman,

I think most of the languages are somehow descendent of some (or many) old languages that may or may not be in use nowadays. What I have never understood is why English became so particular in its phonics. The funny thing is that it is harder for native speakers, who learn it by ear and then try to figure out the writing; foreigners learn if by reading first, so when we finally do, spelling is (mostly) built in.

Whoever sat down to represent sounds into letters did a very lousy job.

Mr. Moderator: it is the same thread. Do any question marks belong in a separate forum?

Juan Agudelo: since your question is not a specific comment on one of the Straight Dope columns, it would have been better to place it in the «General Questions» forum.

If it were a question directly related to one of the Straight Dope articles, then it would belong in this forum.

moderator, «Comments on Cecil’s Columns»