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March 18, 2012 6:28 AM   Subscribe

Kim Witten, AKA MeFi's own iamkimiam had asked us last month to help her collect some meta MeTa Data data. She just won the HRC Poster Competition with her poster How do you pronounce "MeFi"?
posted by bru to MetaFilter-Related at 6:28 AM (111 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

PosterFi is cool!
posted by arcticseal at 6:36 AM on March 18, 2012


I want a solid explanation as to why iamkimiam saw fit to represent the blue and the grey on her poster AND LEFT OUT THE GREEN AND THE WHITE AND THE DARK GREY! WTF, iamkimiam, the rest of us don't count...????

/ congrats, nice poster! also, we all expect free copies of the article.....
posted by HuronBob at 6:37 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was speaking with a friend today, a non-MeFite American from Wisconsin, and she pronounced the word 'meta' as "may-tah." Is that a common pronunciation? I never heard that living in New England.
posted by Kattullus at 6:37 AM on March 18, 2012


Nice one Kim!
posted by pmcp at 6:48 AM on March 18, 2012


For anyone else wondering why the Human Rights Campaign would care about such things, this particular HRC stands for Humanities Research Centre.

Congrats, Kim!
posted by des at 6:51 AM on March 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Congratulations, Kim!
posted by smirkette at 7:06 AM on March 18, 2012


.
posted by crunchland at 7:12 AM on March 18, 2012


katullus, I often pronounce it mey-tah, which is close to may-tah (or maybe even the same). I don't have an east coast accent.

Great poster!
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:16 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I, too, was curious what the Hard Rock Cafe wanted with this, but Humanities Research Center works too.

(Mee-Fie, Meh-ta, FWIW)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:21 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congrats, iamkimiam!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:34 AM on March 18, 2012


+++++!
posted by jasper411 at 7:47 AM on March 18, 2012


So, what was the answer? Does one pronunciation predominate?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:52 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


  1. Why blur out the people's names? Why not just ask to put them on the poster? Most would be flattered. The rest can just go yell at cortex.
  2. This seems like one of those made up issues. I see "mefi" and I can't get my head to do alternative pronunciations. Even when I see people phonetically spelling it out I think, "Well, I suppose you could pronounce it like that if you were deliberately trying to be dumb!" Seriously, there's only one way this word is pronounced, and you know what it is.
  3. I don't get the purpose of this poster at all. Why ask the question if you're not going to answer it? You call what you do science?

posted by cjorgensen at 7:53 AM on March 18, 2012


That is a GREAT poster, Kim! I have to figure out how to get this printed so I can put it up in my study.
posted by bardophile at 7:58 AM on March 18, 2012


Kattullus, sounds like a midwest accent to me.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:06 AM on March 18, 2012


A+++ would science again.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:08 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ha, science teaser posters. That's great.

I was speaking with a friend today, a non-MeFite American from Wisconsin, and she pronounced the word 'meta' as "may-tah." Is that a common pronunciation? I never heard that living in New England.

I've heard it a few times; the analogue to "beta" seems to be the thing as far as that goes. I associate it with British dialects but that could be anecdata as much as anything.

The rest can just go yell at cortex.

That might be your answer right there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:16 AM on March 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was speaking with a friend today, a non-MeFite American from Wisconsin, and she pronounced the word 'meta' as "may-tah." Is that a common pronunciation?

Are you sure she's from Wisconsin? That seems really weird. Unless... she's thinking of betta fish, which makes total sense.
posted by desjardins at 8:21 AM on March 18, 2012


I haven't had enough coffee.
posted by desjardins at 8:23 AM on March 18, 2012


Big congrats, Kim!
posted by benito.strauss at 8:31 AM on March 18, 2012


anecdata!
posted by bru at 8:38 AM on March 18, 2012


MUCH BALLYHOO AND CELEBRATION
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on March 18, 2012


It's odd but really cool that the secretary of state held this poster contest, and that iamkimiam won! Do you think Ms. Clinton is a member here now?
posted by dirtdirt at 8:59 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


iammsclintoniam. shhh, don't tell.

More seriously, thanks y'all. I'm flattered and whoa, it's really weird and scary to see your real name in a post on a big website (especially one you really, really like). I did not expect that when I clicked on the gray*!

*Or grey.
IT NEVER SHUTS OFF, FOLKS.

posted by iamkimiam at 9:07 AM on March 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


Grey. Definitely grey.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:10 AM on March 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Kattullus, my grandma's name was Meta, and she definitely pronounced it May-tah. So maybe your friend's pronunciation stemmed from a person they knew with that name?

Always, always grey.
posted by Night_owl at 9:13 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love that you blurred out public usernames. Congratulations!
posted by headnsouth at 9:14 AM on March 18, 2012


Mefi fo fum, I smell the... uh, awfully good work of an Englishperson!

Congratulations, iamkimiam, who would have thought those plated beans could grow into something so interesting!
posted by jamjam at 9:57 AM on March 18, 2012


Nice poster. Congratulations!

So do we get a cut of that hundred and fifty pounds or what?
posted by ODiV at 10:00 AM on March 18, 2012


1p for every active member, yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:07 AM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't tell if the comments about the blurring of usernames are in jest or serious, but I'm going to address them anyway. I think y'all may be teasing me and I'm about to go get all heavy...

There are quite a few reasons I did/do that, but in this case the main one was that I simply pulled the comments I wanted from my ridiculously overcategorized MeFi screenshot library. I went into the "anonymized comments ƒ" and placed what I thought were representative stances of what I wanted to show. And this was all kind of last minute, tbh. Using comments from the blurred set leaves me with one less thing to worry about (much easier to explain to you all why I blur the names than to the ethics committee about why I don't).

The main audience for the poster is the humanities community and many of them aren't familiar with comment forums, community weblogs, etc. I think the usernames would be a total distraction for them. There's only so much information one can take in when browsing a poster and if they get that these are actual comments from the site, I want them to focus on the attitudes in the comments, not necessarily who said them (or what their read of those usernames connotes).

There is this kind of bigger issue with whether to blur out all names and I think I'm leaning towards anonymizing as much as I can in my research without it being too big a thing for either side (MeFites wondering what that's all about and academics/ethics-committees wondering why I didn't maintain privacy and use this data with consent*). And with gathering permission, it's really easy to pinpoint who didn't give permission (their name is blurred, but the comment is traceable back to their online identity)...which for some, is just as bad as using the name anyway, as blurring conveys information about that user's privacy preferences. So blur 'em all, I say!

Which is all kind of funny really, as this is essentially about identity and how we construct it. I do realise that I'm biasing the whole project the more I go along, as I make more of 'a thing' out of the pronunciation of MeFi. If there are other ways that I can keep biases at a minimum, or at least a constant, I'm going to do that. Explicitly not showcasing someone's identity when referencing their comment minimizes bias and distraction. It's not perfect, I know. However, it does this other nice thing of leveling the playing field to accommodate people who aren't keen about their namesake popping up elsewhere for unauthorized purposes.

*Their consent and/or the commenters. Also, it's one thing to use public data, but it's quite another to reappropriate a comment from one domain for a highlighted use in another. I don't necessarily feel that just because something is public that it can be freely used anywhere...especially in a poster, which is essentially advertising. Some people might not be cool with that and I don't want to highlight who is and who isn't. Or play favo(u)rites with the comments I select.

This is one of the trickiest parts of what I'm doing and I still haven't quite figured out the best approach...neither has the rest of the community of academic internet researchers. Work in progress, that.

posted by iamkimiam at 10:18 AM on March 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


That's really well designed poster, iamkimiam. I'm not surprised you won.
posted by nangar at 10:22 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I want a solid explanation as to why iamkimiam saw fit to represent the blue and the grey on her poster AND LEFT OUT THE GREEN AND THE WHITE AND THE DARK GREY!"

I was going for that clean, professional look. You know, we don't always need to be mucking things up with fancy blocks of GREEN, GREY and god forbid...WHITE.

You all should be thankful that I resisted doing this in Comic Sans.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:30 AM on March 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just realized that I pronounce "Mefi" as "Meh-Fee" (which is OTP - the One True Pronounciation), but I pronounce "MeFite" as "Mee-Fight". That terminal 'e' makes a lot of difference in my mind.
posted by muddgirl at 10:33 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I pronounce MeFi like I pronounce wi-fi. Right?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:48 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome! Congratulations!
posted by rtha at 10:55 AM on March 18, 2012


Meee-fie.
That is all.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:07 AM on March 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Congrats, Kim!
posted by A dead Quaker at 11:15 AM on March 18, 2012


Meee-fie.
That is all.


This great community wrought by those what wrought it brings together people who don't agree on hardly anything and offers them the opportunity to find common ground. St Alia and I may forever say "Well bless your heart!" to each other about most topics, but we fist-bump in triumph over our righteous pronunciation of mefi.
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on March 18, 2012 [21 favorites]


sheiskimsheis!

Congratulations!
posted by trip and a half at 11:24 AM on March 18, 2012


St. Alia and rita have it right!
posted by ericb at 11:31 AM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


(I didn't intend to start an OTP war. For those who aren't involved in geek fannish communities, "OTP" is a term that means 'One True Pairing', as in "Bella and Jacob are my OTP". I meant it to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that this topic is controversial for no good reason. Personally, you can pronounce it "Muh-fih" for all I care.)
posted by muddgirl at 11:39 AM on March 18, 2012


So blur 'em all, I say!

You can generally assume I should never be taken serious or seldom expect to be.

It's interesting to see what you write from a research perspective, when I come at things from a creative perspective. I almost always allow people to use my content free of charge as long as they ask first and give me credit. Occasionally, I find art or writing that I produced attributed to someone else. I flip my wig and do what I can to punish these people. More often I find my stuff out there without attribution. Usually I get a "My bad," and this is corrected. When they refuse to correct this I go back to the wig flipping.

Asking first is a nice courtesy, giving credit is a must, and cash payments are the best (in my world). This said, I don't think we're in disagreement, since our usages differ.

I was once quoted, at length, in the foreword to a book. They gave credit to my online "persona," but no credit to my actual name which was in every .sig file I had. They also never asked permission, nor did they even tell me. I was in a used bookstore a decade or so after the publication of this book, reading the opening, getting a really weird feeling, hit an online nickname I hadn't used in 10 years, and then realized I'd written it!
posted by cjorgensen at 11:46 AM on March 18, 2012


Former Pacifica residents do it best.

Hi from Dubai.

I miss tortilla chips.
posted by ambient2 at 11:49 AM on March 18, 2012


I miss beans. Real ones, on plates, under burritos. Which I also miss (burritos not plates; the English do plates, but not burritos).
posted by iamkimiam at 12:15 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


But but Yorkshire pudding!

Has to make up for it somewhat, surely?

Congrats anyway, and my apologies for (innocently, I swear) grilling you on the results at the V&A meetup.
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:22 PM on March 18, 2012


ambient2: Do we need another UAE meetup?
posted by bardophile at 12:23 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's pretty damn cool! Congrats, Kim!

(Mee-fie and meh-tah, no ifs ands or buts!)
posted by deborah at 1:06 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


/'mɛfiː/
/'mɛʔə/
posted by Jehan at 1:20 PM on March 18, 2012


MeFi? I pronounce it just like JFK did, Me-a-fir
posted by found missing at 1:26 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I say meh-fee. That long ee sounds terrible to me and only belongs in a word with doubled-e's or an e at the end, like muddgirl say. It's like meeting someone who pronounces yeti as yee-tie.

I'd supposed earlier that people who were familiar with a language other than English would tend to treat a new word pronunciation as using short vowels by default since that is more common.

Oh, and congrats Kim!
posted by vacapinta at 1:27 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Congratulations! :D I'm happy and excited for you! But you forgot to mention on the poster that it's correctly pronounced "MEE-fie."

Also, when I've seen your full name in regards to this, it makes me want to call you Wim Kitten.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:28 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kim, you are so cool. congratulations on the win!
posted by gursky at 1:48 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


MeFi is most correctly pronounced "shove ha'penny." All other forms are generated by those who learned the term through reading rather than orally via the, now sadly defunct, initiation ceremony.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 2:12 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, when I've seen your full name in regards to this, it makes me want to call you Wim Kitten.

Wim Kitten and the Hilversum Pussies to the rescue: Marieke Miauw, Thijs Tabbi, Kim Kater and Simon Spinnend, the world needs you!

posted by Jehan at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a native English speaker and I have no frickin' idea how I came to pronounce mefi like mee-fie. It just feels right in my mouth. I hope we can all hold to the ideal that the way each of us pronounces it is the right way while simultaneously believing that people who pronounce it some other way are still cool. And I reserve the right to gently mock and be mocked over its pronunciation at meetups.

It doesn't seem *that* weird to me, anyway; we have words like bicycle, in which you do not say you're on a sickling team, even though that follows the pronunciation of the original word. (I suppose there are or were people who pronounce bicycle with long vowels in both spots, but I've only ever heard it long i/short i.)
posted by rtha at 2:16 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Excellent, congratulations.
posted by danny the boy at 2:20 PM on March 18, 2012


Yay for Kim!
posted by gingerbeer at 2:27 PM on March 18, 2012


I'm so proud of you Kim, that I added myself to your herd of spouses. Congrats!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:49 PM on March 18, 2012


Great job Kim, you're a helluva meefit!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:23 PM on March 18, 2012


Metterfiltah, in my neck of the woods, and mefi is "throatwarbler mangrove."
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:15 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to see what you write from a research perspective, when I come at things from a creative perspective. I almost always allow people to use my content free of charge as long as they ask first and give me credit. Occasionally, I find art or writing that I produced attributed to someone else. I flip my wig and do what I can to punish these people.

I understand what you are saying, but I wanted to jump in and make the case stronger than iamkimiam that she did the right thing. The organizations that oversee research that may be considered as human subjects research have stringent requirements on the reporting of potentially identifying information, even for publicly available data. Iamkimiam is not in the US and I don't know exactly what UK laws are w.r.t. to this issue (probably not so different), but in the US someone could get in fairly substantial trouble for _not_ removing identifying information from the way the data is reported. Federal funding among other things is (legally) tied to following these sorts of guidelines guidelines. So we are largely _unable_ to give people credit in this way if it is potentially human subjects research. Permission from the individual(s) in question is not license to escape these requirements.
posted by advil at 4:19 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yay Kim! Woo!

(That you are in a place without burritos makes me sad, though. No one should be without burritos.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:25 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I pronounce it the way Mark E Smith pronounces it: mee-a fye-a
posted by item at 6:38 PM on March 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just mumble it and look down at my shoelaces.
posted by not_on_display at 7:36 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


St. Alia and rita have it right!

rita? I'm guessing you mean rtha.
posted by mollymayhem at 8:22 PM on March 18, 2012


how does one pronounce "rtha?"
posted by ambient2 at 8:37 PM on March 18, 2012


ṛta
posted by nangar at 8:40 PM on March 18, 2012


MEH-FEE

Live by it. Die by it. Kill for it.
posted by slogger at 8:48 PM on March 18, 2012 [3 favorites]



Also:

MEH-TUH

ASK-MEE

MEH-FITE

FUH-KWEW

posted by slogger at 8:49 PM on March 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Woot! Congratulations!
posted by Pronoiac at 8:53 PM on March 18, 2012


Congrats! (meh-tuh, me fight)
posted by msalt at 8:53 PM on March 18, 2012


This site? ... Meh
This argument? ... Feh
This poster? Pretty neat actually.
Congrats.
posted by captaincrouton at 8:55 PM on March 18, 2012


Congratulations, Kim!
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 9:16 PM on March 18, 2012


rtha= eartha in my head
posted by kamikazegopher at 9:26 PM on March 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Fact: Orson Welles once called Eartha Kitt the "most exciting woman in the world."
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:35 PM on March 18, 2012


Yes. Eartha, as in Kitt. It is the only way.

ARR-tha if you're nasty. Arr-tee-aitch-ay if you're birder-nasty.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:44 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? I feel like I'd be turned on if I understood that last comment.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:49 PM on March 18, 2012


Let your freak flag fly, I guess!

rtha = banding code for red-tailed hawk
posted by rtha at 9:51 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, but how do you pronounce it?
posted by Night_owl at 9:58 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah yeah yeah. Meee-Fi, Meh-Fee, &c.

Nobody is asking/answering the really important question: just how does one pronounce MePhiD.com?

Meh-Fid?
Meee-Fie-Dee?

INQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOW.
posted by Len at 10:01 PM on March 18, 2012


> I understand what you are saying, but I wanted to jump in and make the case stronger than iamkimiam that she did the right thing.

Please believe me when I say I believe you and her and that there is no animosity in what comes next, but this is somewhat of a cop out. The idea that there are expectations by these committees and such doesn't change reality. Anonymizing the the individuals in this case is plain silly. It's like the skirts that were purportedly put on Victorian furniture to not offend the sensitive folk.

She identified the site she was writing about. It wouldn't take 30 seconds to figure out who said what on that poster. Metafilter has a search box!

Like I said, this is a non-fight fight. She announced what she was going to do, got mod and general site approval, and has never hidden what she is doing and has shared back her progress.

I get that if you have 5 people that say they don't care if they are identified, and one that does care, and you use comments from them all and only blur the comment of the person that gives a shit that it makes it easy to figure out who gave a shit.

> I want a solid explanation as to why iamkimiam saw fit to represent the blue and the grey on her poster AND LEFT OUT THE GREEN AND THE WHITE AND THE DARK GREY!

There is totally white and dark grey there. Only the green is slighted.

The reason that made the most sense for blurring the names was that it's easier to blur than to explain, "No, East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 is a person! He has opinions and is respected! No really!" Scenes from Planet of the Apes flash into my head. "He can even talk!"

I just come from a world that often the only compensation offered is recognition. To deny this because some committee says it's ethical makes me think, "Screw the committee. Fucking pay me."

> Let your freak flag fly, I guess!

I prefer to call it my 10 inch shaming wand.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:03 PM on March 18, 2012


In fact, I suspect that iamkimiam specifically chose said domain name purely to fuck with us and start another pronunciation argument, therefore guaranteeing more research fodder for the future.
posted by Len at 10:03 PM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I think y'all may be teasing me"

Even if they were, it's interesting and I've leaned something. (Two things! Now I know the banding code for red tailed hawks!) I suppose people could just Google the comment itself in quote marks, though, to track down the author.

my sister introduced me to the site and she and I pronounce Mefi differently. To the point that I do not actually know what she's referring to. "I was on Mefi --" "Where?" "Metafilter?" "Ohhhhh."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:10 PM on March 18, 2012


Mee-fie and major congrats, Ms. Kim!
posted by Lynsey at 10:51 PM on March 18, 2012


You can't mention Eartha Kitt and not link to Eartha Kitt, it breaks a law.
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The big thing I just realized is if I scrunch up my fake british accent just right I can pronounce "rtha" like "rather".
posted by aubilenon at 10:56 PM on March 18, 2012


She identified the site she was writing about. It wouldn't take 30 seconds to figure out who said what on that poster. Metafilter has a search box!

Absolutely. At the same time, when there's no cost either way, offering a little skosh of friction doesn't do any harm and may make people feel better.

There's a munge feature for the infodump, that dissociates the userid of any munged user in the data files from their activity on the site through a simple trick of arithmetic. It offers the barest protection from identification since, as you note, a little bit of searching will lay out who posted what. But it's a little bit of friction there, and in that capacity a hint to potential correlators that this is maybe something to give half a thought to in how they make the transit from personally-curious to publically-rebroadcrasting as far as any identity stuff goes. It's not binding, it's not presumably deeply privacy-centric stuff, but there's no real harm in being a little bit gentle about it when all else is equal and you want to err on the side of caution.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:52 PM on March 18, 2012


This is all kinds of awesome. Fabulous work, Kim! The Yay Area Mefites shall consume bean-laden burritos in your honor.
posted by mostlymartha at 2:11 AM on March 19, 2012


Is this the thread where we share Earth Kitt videos? In which case... I'm partial to this disco classic (note: the video's promise to show sexy men is a lie).
posted by Kattullus at 4:19 AM on March 19, 2012


Re "May-tuh":

I associate it with British dialects but that could be anecdata as much as anything

I can't think of a single British dialect in which this pronunciation would make sense. Nor can I think of a single British dialect in which "beta" would be pronounced like "bay-tuh". That's an American thing so far as I know. We say "bee-tuh".

The only time we pronounce "e" as "ay" is in words we stole from French, where the "e" used to carry an acute accent. So, Cafe. Seance. I can't think of any example where the "ay" sound occurs between two consonants as it does in the hypothetical "may-tuh".
posted by emilyw at 4:29 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, so what's the answer?
posted by empath at 5:41 AM on March 19, 2012


Wait, so what's the answer?

The actual results of the survey seem to be some sort of Big Secret.

How does the Cabal pronounce MeFi, I think is the question, here.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:59 AM on March 19, 2012


December 2012 ... my Big Secret Quonsar for you all.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:37 AM on March 19, 2012


But... community norms could have shifted by then!
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:59 AM on March 19, 2012


and the CABAL could break up like two 7th graders on spring break.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:04 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always think of rtha as an abbreviation for Read The Hellacious Article
posted by Greg Nog at 8:59 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a good-looking poster, iamkimiam. Congratulations!
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:05 AM on March 19, 2012


Well done, Kim!
posted by Mister_A at 10:58 AM on March 19, 2012


Meffy 4Eva!
posted by Mister_A at 10:59 AM on March 19, 2012


I do pronounce "yeti" as "yeh tea," but because of the lettering in "mefi" I say "mee fie."

I think it's because of the AskMetafilter short-form; I always see "Ask Me!" in "AskMeFi" and paired with "Fee" it just sounds weird. So I say "Fie" because it sounds better after "Ask Me." I mean, I consider The Green to be a repository where people show up with a question, and a bunch of us are sitting around going, "Ask me! Ask me!"

I also know that MeFi is an abbreviation of MetaFilter, but I can't bring myself to say "Meh Feh" with a straight face. And in casual conversation when I try to explain who said what where to non-members, pronouncing it as "Meh Fee" seems to stilt the natural flow of speaking for me.

So in the end, by process of elimination, I opt for "Mee Fie," and by extention a mefite is a "Mee Fie T"
posted by CancerMan at 11:06 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


CancerMan: I do pronounce "yeti" as "yeh tea," but because of the lettering in "mefi" I say "mee fie."

Yeah, same here. If it was written "mefi" I would've pronounced it "meh-fee" but since it's usually written "MeFi" I think of it as two independent units, "Me" and "Fi" and pronounce them as such. In other words, I pronounce the capital letters.
posted by Kattullus at 11:09 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er, "Mee Fie-t" Not "mee fie tee," though I do say that whenever the latest round of shirts are made available.
posted by CancerMan at 11:10 AM on March 19, 2012


Kim, this is totally awesome! So, like, how much do you charge for poster design services. Cause, wow!

Congratulations!


At the risk of contributing to a derail of fairly limited interest, I would point out, that the US Human Subjects protection guidelines with regard to public data on the internet are not nearly as cut-and-dried as advil makes them seem. That said, Kim is doing her work at a UK institution, and I am not familiar with their ethics guidelines, which might well be tougher. And sometimes you just have to appease ethics boards, even if what you're doing doesn't actually amount to minimizing harm (assuming there is even the potential for harm in this kind of stuff, which is far from certain).
posted by DiscourseMarker at 11:39 AM on March 19, 2012


Huzzah, iamkimiam! Good luck with your continued research.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:16 AM on March 20, 2012


It's MEE-fie. Because you pronounce it as it's spelled. Like "Gough." Or "Spadina." Or "Houston."
posted by clorox at 3:45 AM on March 20, 2012


Yeah, same here. If it was written "mefi" I would've pronounced it "meh-fee" but since it's usually written "MeFi" I think of it as two independent units, "Me" and "Fi" and pronounce them as such. In other words, I pronounce the capital letters.

Thats a very good point and one I hadn't seen brought up before. I write it as "mefi" or "Mefi" not "MeFi". The latter has too many capitals in it. I was always bothered by HiFi too.
posted by vacapinta at 4:18 AM on March 20, 2012


It would be interesting to find out if there was any correlation between how people spell and pronounce it.
posted by Kattullus at 4:26 AM on March 20, 2012


Late to this thread, but as a fellow linguist, congrats to Kim, reliably one of my favorite contributors to MeFi, and especially on language/linguistics topics.
posted by spitbull at 6:14 PM on March 20, 2012


Late to the thread as well, but congrats! both on this and also on getting your first article published.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:28 PM on March 20, 2012


Kattullus: I pronounce the capital letters.

Now, that, sir, is elocution.
And also the best explanation I've heard for why I pronounce it that way.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:58 AM on March 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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