microphone short word.

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Years ago "mike" was short for microphone. In recent years "mic" has replaced it. What brought about the change? "mike" is obviously pronounced with a long "i", while "mic" would ordinarily be pronounced with a short "i" like in "tic". In general to get a long "i" an "e" is added to the end, but can't be done here, because the "c" then gets an "s" sound rather than "k" sound.
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    As in "motorbic", you mean?

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    Yes, I agree, it seems inconsistent.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    1] Mike is already taken, and could lead to confusion, esp. if your drummer is named Mike.
    2] Mic is shorter. Easier to print in places where space is at a premium.
    3] When you see "Mic" you know what it means - especially as it is most likely to be in-context.

    But mostly:
    4] How Mic "might normally" be pronounced if it were its own word is irrelevant. It's an abbreviation for Microphone.

    Here's a list of abbreviations:
    https://public.oed.com/how-to-use-the-oed/abbreviations/

    How many of them sound silly if you treat them as bona fide words instead of abbreviations?
    For example:
    "Assoc. " If you were to read this aloud from a book, would you literally sound it out as "assock"?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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