suzmccarth wrote:

>I am wondering how to pronounce the following - mozilla, png and
>I once thought that mozilla rhymed with godzilla but was corrected.
>However, I have recently seen it transliterated into Tamil as
>[modjilla] so I assume that came from /mod-zil-a/, not /mo-zil-a/.
Mozilla rhymes with Godzilla, though the first vowel is a long o. It
was derived (I think) from Godzilla combined with the then
state-of-the-art web browser, Mosaic.

I always pronounce GIF as /gIf/, that is, with a hard G, though pretty
much everyone else in the world says it /dZIf/, with a soft G, and
indeed that may even be somehow the "official" pronunciation.

PNG can be spelled out, but I often think (and say?) it as /pIN/,
rhyming with sing.

>Is it even realistic to expect internet terms to have a fixed
>pronunciation since these terms are often learned in a text only
>environment? In fact, since the internet provides such an extensive
>(predominantly) text only environment, could this adversely affect
>standardization of pronunciation, and cause a reversal of the
>homogenizing effect of radio and TV in the last generation? Those
>most affected would be the visually impaired.
Hard to say. A lot of these terms have been around a long time and
fixed pronunciations do seem to get entrenched... DOS is always /dOs/,
but CPU and FTP are always spelled out--probably because they don't fit
into most language's phonology! But I've occasionally heard tty
pronounced "titty"! ... rm is only pronounced like "rum" in the
expression "rum ruff..." for "rm -rf" (remove recursively, forced).
Sorry, I'm thinking in UNIXisms; UNIX commands frequently have very
short and cryptic names. JPG is almost always "jay-peg" (and indeed is
sometimes found in its full form: JPEG). Same with MPG/MPEG being "em-peg".

I can almost hear John Cowan getting his mental machinery in gear for a
lot of better examples...