Pronunciation Pet Peeves

OK I realize I am in mortal danger of becoming one of those people you meet. Those curmudgeonly misanthropes who correct your grammar, pronunciation (and somehow verbal spelling) while all you’re trying to do is have a light chat and talk about your cat. Or whatever.

But please, these things matter. While we’re speaking this language we’ve all mostly agreed on, mostly, let’s try and stick to the compact. And if that argument doesn’t persuade you, then at the very least you should read this to banish that eternal foe of civil thought, discourse and propriety—ignorance.

  • id Software, who made Doom, Wolfenstein and Commander Keen is pronounced “id” (rhymes with did). It is not I.D. Software. “Id” comes from Freud’s mental apparatus and represents the base human desires and motivations below the conscious “ego” and the intellectual “superego”
  • OS X - Apple’s seminal Unix operating system, is pronounced O.S 10. As in the Roman numeral X (10). There are literally dozens of interviews, keynotes, speeches where Steve Jobs says “OS 10”. He has never once said “OS X”
  • Acronym - Not really a pronunciation peeve, but an Acronym is an abbreviation that must be pronounceable as a word, example: REST (REpresentational State Transfer) or VATS (Vault-tec Assisted Targetting System). The following are not acronyms: FBI, XML, HTTP. If you must use a word for them, useĀ initialism. At least that way you don’t sound ridiculous.

OK maybe a bit harsh, but sorry I was raging there for a bit.