Most of us who see many of these terms in print more often than we hear them on radio or TV are more than likely to mispronounce them and make fools of ourselves in the process.

  • C#: like "see sharp"
  • GNU: guh-noo'
  • Linux: Lee'-nooks or Lihn'-ucks
  • MySQL: My-ess-cue-ell' (NOT my sequel)
  • PostgreSQL: Pohst'-grehs-cue-ell'
  • vi: vee-eye' (NOT sihks)
And most surprisingly...
  • Netscape: Moh-zihl'-lah (source: which is as probable as oiseau pronounced "wah-zoh'"

/msg me with more, or add your own writeup. Note that I reserve the right to absorb writeups (maintaining attribution) and have them nuked, so as to keep this from becoming too GTKYNish.

The pronunciation of some computer-related words varies somewhat from nation to nation and region to region. The Jargon File has some interesting things to say about Commonwealth Hackish vs. USA Hackish. The local pronunciations in my workplace (in Massachusetts) differ somewhat from M. Hal0's above:

  • .cshrc is spelled out. The shell itself is pronounced "C shell", not "kush" or "C S H".
  • FAQ, too, is spelled out, as is RTFAQ.
  • GIF is pronounced with the hard G of "give", not the soft G of "giraffe".
  • The final consonant of LaTeX and TeX is a guttural fricative, like the "ch" of "Bach" and "loch". The former may be "lay-tekh" or "lah-tekh", depending on the speaker.
  • stdio.h is pronounced "standard I O dot H".
  • URL is spelled out, or pronounced "Web address", since nobody outside of W3C is quite sure of the distinction between URLs, URIs, and URNs.
  • Netscape Communicator is pronounced "Netscape", so as to distinguish it from the open-source project pronounced "Mozilla".
  • SQL is always spelled out.
  • DEC is pronounced "Compaq", much to the dismay of our sole remaining vaxherd.

There are much more confusing ones in the vocabulary of Unix. Consider strncpy, which must be clearly distinguished from strcpy. Consider vipw, wget, uz -- or ncftp, whose author pronounces it "nik F T P". The language of computing, and particularly the language of literate Unix, is most strongly a written one, and concomitantly not terribly easy to speak.

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