Performance Perspectives Blog

A pronouncement on pronunciations

by | May 6, 2010

I was in London this week and reminded about how two words associated with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS(R)) each have two distinctively different pronciations:

GIPS: The abbreviation for the standards, which is a word because it’s an acronym (as per a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words) can be pronounced in two ways. The first, and perhaps most common, is when the “G” has a “gah” sound; the second is when it has a “jah” sound. The perfect word to clearly distinguish the two sounds is “gauge,” where the two “Gs” exhibit both of these sounds.

Composite: The most important word in the standards, perhaps, has two different sounds, too, and they’re very regional. In the United States most individuals pronounce the word “come-paz-it.” In just about everywhere else it’s pronounced “comp-uz-it.” Being bilingual I adjust depending on where I happen to be at the time.

While we have more than 30 countries that agree on the standards (a huge and quite unique accomplishment), we don’t agree on how to pronounce some of the words, but that’s okay. As the song goes, “You say toe-may-toe and I say toe-mah-toe.”

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