The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 12

Utricularia livida
Utricularia livida

Sarracenia oreophila
Sarracenia oreophila
Q: How do you pronounce the Latin names?

A: There are two approaches to this. The first is to be very picky and pronounce everything using the absolutely correct Latin, as learned by people who were on the debate team in high school. Take a look at Kay Klier's nice guide to correct Latin pronunciation in the FAQ library. (I bet Kay was captain of her debate team.)

The second approach is more relaxed, and operates on the principal that since Latin is a dead language, its pronunciation does not really matter. Pronounce it however you feel comfortable. Consider the species of pitcher plant found in mountainous terrain, S. oreophila. Some people pronounce this orry-AH-fila, others say orry-oh-FIL-a, and others say orry-oh-FYE-la. Just as long as you get the point across, it does not matter.

The last time I saw Bob Hanrahan in Florida, he took endless delight in pointing out that I pronounced S. flava with two short "A's", but that I pronounced, as long, the middle "A" in S. alata. We all laughed, but I still pronounce the names that way.

For heaven's sake, do not feel intimidated.

Page citations: personal observation.

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Revised: 2018
©Barry Rice, 2018