Thursday, August 16, 2007


Looks like I've finally got a reasonable internet connection again ... maybe being 'off the grid' isn't what I thought it would be.

Anyway, last night, Stephen Colbert interviewed Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos. I won't go into the back story, but O'Reilly on Fox Noise (as Keith Olberman has dubbed them) has in essence called Kos as bad as the Nazis.

Anyhow, Colbert set it up with comments about "hate blogging", including a reference to the blogstapo. Key thing is, he pronounced it with a 'sh' ([ʃ]). Would it sound better with just [s]?

Image from here.


Vance said...

The pedantic answer is that it depends on where you come from in the German-speaking world. The standard pronunciation uses the 'sh' sound in combinations like Staat (the morpheme that lies behind the 'sta' here), but some northern accents use the 's'.

Slightly more seriously, any word with "blog" in it sounds worse than any other possible word or neologism in English, so neither choice sounds even as good as the other.

Vance said...

Sorry, read lexeme for morpheme.

The Ridger, FCD said...

The problem with "blogstapo" pronounced with an S is that - to me at least - it sounds like it's formed from blog + stop.

But maybe that's just because I say Staat (and thus Gestapo) with a SH...

Mr. Verb said...

Oh, maybe we have a difference in English: I have [s] in the English word and Merriam-Webster's gives that too. In German, I'd normally say [ʃ] probably, but both sound fine and Duden's Aussprachewörterbuch actually gives the [s] pronounciation first and lists the [ʃ] as a variant. (Has to do with the phonotactics of word-internal [ʃt] clusters, I suspect … I'll try to ponder that.)

Part of the issue here is that I heard a [g] in 'blog'. If you're using the [ʃ], you have to do the final fortition: It's a core part of German pronunciation where the other feature is optional. So, you have an emphatically American-sounding first element and then a kind of hyper-foreign second half. It's an odd mix-and-match phonological integration.

But then, Vance is right: blog yields some bumpy-sounding compounds.

Thanks to both of you.

Wishydig said...

I agree with the ridger that the [s] is too close to "stop". When I first read the post title I thought it was a playful name for a superhero who puts an end to blogs. I really did. That 'a' just assimilated to the two 'o's flanking it.

Mr. Verb said...

Beautiful ... an evil anti-hero, no doubt, and one commissioned by Safire and Rove.