You say tomato I say tomato

We all have different ways of speaking and pronouncing our words - I am no exception. Where I find it most obvious is when talking about programming with fellow programmers, most notably when talking about the programming languages C or C++ (C's successor, or sorts).

One of the language keywords is char.

Everyone else I know pronounces it the way it is spelled - char. I pronounce it kar.

The reason is simple, I learned C in isolation, from a book, some 20 years ago. char is the shortened form of character (just as int is the shortened form of integer), consequently the logical pronunciation must begin with a hard k sound not the soft ch sound.

Another word I mispronounce is kludge. When I say it, it rhymes with sludge or fudge. The way everyone else says it, it rhymes with stooge. However, when I use it as a verb or adjective, I use the long oo sound, but as a noun, it is definitely the short u.

Image nabbed from here.

Comments

Barbara said…
I'm with you are CHAR and not with you on KLUDGE. But I decided long ago that if communication is the goal, pronunciation doesn't really matter.
Don't know your lingo of your business but I'd be inclined to say Kludge to rhyme with fudge, and Char like the arctic fish! Oh yeah...and tomato with a definite long a!
DeeDee said…
Hi Richard! Thanks for stopping in to RennyBA's Tarella and commenting my pics.

I come originally from upstate NY and locally where I grew up we said 'Towel' in a funny way. We always pronounced it like 'taall' Sort of without a W in it. Found that out when I grew up and began moving around :-)
Yup, I'm with you (I think) on CHAR (when I say it, it sounds like "care", as in 'character'), but my KLUDGE rhymes with "Stooge". :)
Coffee fairy said…
I use a lot of char in programming (to_char function in Oracle) and like you, it's kar also for me. :)
I am not familiar with the word kludge so I have yet to research on it. :)
Lunafish said…
I haven't got a Kludge (Clue-uge) what you are talking about.
I think I will start using that word in the recruiting community.
I like what the Wikipedia says about it being a backronym.
Steve said…
I learned C a long time ago. Now I can't remember anything about the language, so I don't remember how I pronounced char.

The last, or perhaps latest, language that I studied was Scheme, and it has the word car which I immediately thought about when reading char.

So, lacking a better reason, I say kar and not char even though they mean different things. :)
tin-tin said…
i think it really depends on where you're located. if it's british or american english :)
Richard said…
barbara: nice to have the support - at least on CHAR. Despite irregular rules in English, I still don't think it is right to say Kloooodge.

MOI: oops, I pronounce the arctic fish as char not kar (although, I should know better since I have often heard about Arctic char).
DeeDee: thanks for dropping by and commenting.
MIO: nice to see you back. Hmmm … maybe the soft "ch" is unique to programmers in the Ottawa area - don't really chat with programmers from other locals. There are two wildly different consonants between the u and the e - so the u must be short.
coffee fairy: people around here would say it with a soft ch. I am being buoyed by all this support. A kludge is a inelegant hack or ugly workaround in code, or a mismatch of disparate pieces to get something working. Frankenstein's monster is a kludge.
I use a lot of char in programming (to_char function in Oracle) and like you, it's kar also for me. :)
I am not familiar with the word kludge so I have yet to research on it. :)
lunafish: hmmm … I hadn't checked wikipedia. It seems to support my variant enunciation of kludge.
matt: wow, you studied programming. Cool! Always interesting to learn new things about people. I had originally wanted to call the post "Coding with a LISP" because the car and cdr of LISP immediately came to mind.

For those who don't know, cdr is pronounce could er.

tin-tin: the only people I have heard speak it are Canadian programmers in Ottawa (and students and profs at university). Perhaps the are wide regional differences in pronounciation.

The funny thing is that I do not feel self conscious enough to want to change the way I pronounce the words. I don't feel self conscious at all. As far as I Am concerned, the others are saying it wrong.
Steve said…
(((Lisp (is (a)) (funny language.))))
Richard said…
Let us just say that it has an unnatural syntax for most problems.

But, then again, the is no truly generic programming language; each language has its own speicalized domain and approach to problem solving. I am always bemused to watch people solving problems in one language when a nother is far better suited. It is like the carpenter who only has a hammer, so every problem looks like a nail.

Popular Posts