No, YOU'RE saying it wrong! October 2, 2012 9:51 AM   Subscribe


I love that there is a citation for the statement that "First and foremost, MeFites are preoccupied with socializing, learning and being entertained online."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:57 AM on October 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yet another piece of evidence that the world really is a wonderful place.
posted by marxchivist at 9:58 AM on October 2, 2012


3b. The rest of y'all are doing it wrong.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:59 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


...can we have an edit feature on post text? (siiiiiigh)
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


So which one was the winner? (mee-fai -- that's mine)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:05 AM on October 2, 2012


She doesn't reveal which is the correct pronounciation.
posted by Area Man at 10:05 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's obviously meh-fee.
posted by phaedon at 10:13 AM on October 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


Brain cannot process academic language. Can someone summarize?
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:17 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


In short, Ms. Witten's extensive research conclusively demonstrates that "meh-fee" is the right way to say it.
posted by Mister_A at 10:19 AM on October 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Miata Fly-Tear.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:22 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obviously it's pronounced 'Scott Adams.'
posted by shakespeherian at 10:22 AM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the linked paper is the results from the previous survey (2010), not the most recent one. Also, it looks like the paper is behind a registration wall. Is there a way to summarize the key results, iamkimiam?
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:25 AM on October 2, 2012


I'm not sure how much difference there is but the post-print version (before editing) is pretty damn readable -- like amazingly readable, given the subject matter, actually.

Summary of key results: What's up with your pronunciation, Canada?

(I may be reading with some bias.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:31 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mee-fye.

Me as in me and fi as in hifi.

Trivia: in Spanish speaking countries, 'wifi' is pronounced 'weefee'
posted by empath at 10:31 AM on October 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


This is a non-paywall version of the article Kim links to from her blog. Not prettily formatted like it is in the journal, but contentful nonetheless.

The upshot is that the [mi] pronunciation (the paper only addresses the first syllable in depth) is the most common, by a statistically significant margin; however, how much more common the top pronunciation is varies surprisingly (and significantly) much between countries.

Booyah, go team [mi]!
posted by badgermushroomSNAKE at 10:32 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I still want to know, when can we fight figure out once and for all whether MeTa is "the grey" or "the gray"?

Oh, and congrats on the pub, Kim! The first one is always a big deal, and this looks like a fun one to start with!
posted by .kobayashi. at 10:32 AM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I pronounce it as "that fucking life-ruining time sink that will one day get me fired and/or stabbed".
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on October 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


Trivia: in Spanish speaking countries, 'wifi' is pronounced 'weefee'

"sci-fi" is even better tbh
posted by elizardbits at 10:36 AM on October 2, 2012


Ah, thanks for linkage to the PDF version - not sure how I missed that!
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:38 AM on October 2, 2012


"sci-fi" is even better tbh

Yeah, I had a conversation about sci fi movies with a girl in Nicaragua, which, let me tell you, was difficult, considering that she learned English from books and couldn't pronounce most English words correctly (clever was cleaver and so on) and my Spanish was limited to basically ordering food and asking for directions. Trying to explain the religious allegories in The Matrix under those conditions was fairly challenging. And also figuring out that she was saying 'sci-fi' to begin with took about ten minutes.
posted by empath at 10:43 AM on October 2, 2012


It's pronounced "Be - uhl - stah / Glak - tka"
posted by The World Famous at 10:44 AM on October 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Does this article take into account the most recent survey? Or is it just the write-up about the previous survey(s)?
I'm just feeling pedantic about the 'completed' part of iamkimiam AKA Kim Witten has finally completed her exhaustive research effort.

Anywho, congrats on the pub! I'm looking forward to reading the paper!
posted by carsonb at 10:57 AM on October 2, 2012


Yay!
posted by FishBike at 11:04 AM on October 2, 2012


Hi y'all! Thanks and I hope you enjoy this so far.

I'm both happy and sad to say that this is by no means complete. I've finished collecting data, but I've only analysed a small portion of it. What you see there is a 4K word article, which will be summarised and tucked into a teeny corner of the dissertation. Which is...80K words. But I'm on track to complete it, hopefully good to go by this time next year.

The diss will cover both surveys, with results from all social categories, such as dialect, age, gender, site participation, some corpus stuff with word frequency files, some other examples of things (a side dish of beans, for one), and whatever else I can fit in, sensibly and overthinkingly.

So yes, exhausted, but not exhaustive. :)
posted by iamkimiam at 11:06 AM on October 2, 2012 [16 favorites]


The MetaFilter Corpus Tables; data from 1999 through 2009 (Millard 2010).

I totally read this and need to buy this as an artist:title for a CD.
posted by cavalier at 11:08 AM on October 2, 2012


And Whelk, thanks for posting it to MeTa...I was kind of secretly hoping somebody would so that people who were interested in the research but don't visit projects could see it.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:11 AM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and thanks to FishBike, too, for help with computing some of the 'active userbase' stats from the InfoDump data (and with the SQL so now I can do it myself moving forward).
posted by iamkimiam at 11:14 AM on October 2, 2012


Someone should now share it on the blue so that the article can be shared with a wider audience - is that possible?
posted by infini at 11:15 AM on October 2, 2012


It doesn't matter how others pronounce it. mathowie's pronunciation is the only one that counts.
posted by terrapin at 11:15 AM on October 2, 2012


It doesn't matter how others pronounce it. mathowie's pronunciation is the only one that counts.

Whatever you say, Scalia.
posted by The World Famous at 11:17 AM on October 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


The M-Set is the working title of my new reality show which consists of picking random MeFites to live in a house together for 6 months with no Internet besides MetaFilter.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:17 AM on October 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Projects and the greɪ are probably more than sufficient...we don't need to go to the moon with this.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:22 AM on October 2, 2012


It still is weird that everyone pronounces it differently.

I also pronounce mine with a distinct Southern-meets-Low-Midwestern drawl.
posted by deezil at 11:22 AM on October 2, 2012


Wait. Not to be a strict originalist or anything, but how does mathowie pronounce it?
posted by brina at 11:49 AM on October 2, 2012


Wow, the article costs $39. How much of that goes to you? /hamburger.

Seriously though, congrats, iamkimiam.

/Does anyone else feel weird typing her name, and is tempted to change it to 'youarekimyouare'?
posted by benito.strauss at 11:50 AM on October 2, 2012


"It's Ahz-wee-pay!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:52 AM on October 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Summary of key results: What's up with your pronunciation, Canada?

It's pronounced Thibodeau.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:16 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Melissa May said it long ago on the podcast - it's ME-figh, bitches!
posted by cashman at 12:28 PM on October 2, 2012


Will the "meh" pronounciation be worked into a new version of the Molson "I am Canadian" rant?
posted by Area Man at 12:32 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


MyFi, like wi-fi.

I'm part of the 1% who pronounce it correctly. You 99%ers are the problem.
posted by 26.2 at 12:40 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'll be happy to know that as of the 2012 survey, where 'MyFy' was included as an audio option, your faction is now slightly more than 1%.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:44 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm going to start a band called The MyFy Faction. If someone asks me what it means, I'll tell them that it's a synonym for the 1%.
posted by daniel_charms at 1:02 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The most popular first-syllable variant across all four countries was 1 - "mee" or [mi-] in IPA (not pale ale). There's a graph on page 13 of the post-print pdf - link
posted by jb at 1:13 PM on October 2, 2012


Now I want a MetaFilter baseball jersey with '1B' stitched onto the back.
posted by mintcake! at 1:18 PM on October 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I though it never was said aloud?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:22 PM on October 2, 2012


My own research shows a moderate correlation (R=.61, p=.95, n=1500) between saying "MeFi" wrong and being a big stupid jerk-face.
posted by aubilenon at 1:24 PM on October 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I initially read Sociophonetic Variation as Schizophrenic Variation and thought, yeah, that figures.
posted by HuronBob at 1:28 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was surprised to see the Cutie Mark Crusaders show up in the article.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:57 PM on October 2, 2012


I found this tremendously fascinating.

I just love that there's a variety and diversity in our language about our shared and mostly loved site and perceptions that drive those linguistic choices and the diverse levels of ownership in it. It gives me the same kind of happiness I got this summer from a massive 15-state road trip I took; the infinite variety in people just makes me happy. I think that our inter-connectedness and the constant flow of information (often by megalithic entities) too often results in flattening our perceptions of the world around us.

We get shoved into categories (particularly in the US): soccer or waitress or PTA moms and NASCAR dads; yuppies and hillbillies and hippies and hipsters and hicks and suburbanites and retirees; teens and tweens and millenials and boomers and slackers -- pushed into groups for the purpose of marketing something or someone, shaped and defined by people who want to play the numbers. It's easy to get caught up into those defined notions of who people are, and to miss how almost all the individuals in the group defy some or all of the characteristics and expectations defined from the outside.

So it makes me happy to see people pronouncing MeFi and MeTa and MeFites in ways that I don't. It makes me think about how cool it is that we all bring our different perspectives and quirks to a common place. It doesn't hurt that our disagreements and championing of our versions is rooted in good humor, either.

In short: Yay, iamkimiam!
posted by julen at 1:59 PM on October 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone should now share it on the blue so that the article can be shared with a wider audience - is that possible?

I'm as enthusiastic about Kim's work as probably just about anyone on the planet, but this is pretty inside baseball, so, no, a post on the blue wouldn't really make sense.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:04 PM on October 2, 2012


But sidebar/"Best of" could fly, yes?
posted by m@f at 2:26 PM on October 2, 2012


That there's this great a difference between native Anglophones in Canada and the US is completely mindboggling to me. Fascinating article.

The most discombobulating pronunciation jolt I ever suffered was hearing a diabetes researcher pronounce "diabetes" DYE-ah-BEE-tuss. I, and the other people at that lecture, had never heard it before. Note: The researcher and all present but me were native English-speakers. The second most jarring was realizing that many, many people spelled out the letters in FAQ.
posted by Kattullus at 2:36 PM on October 2, 2012


Part of the 4b weirdo club.
posted by ejaned8 at 2:40 PM on October 2, 2012


The M-Set is the working title of my new reality show which consists of picking random MeFites to live in a house together for 6 months with no Internet besides MetaFilter.

I would watch the hell out of this show. Plus, I'd buy the DVDs if there were MST3K-style comment tracks starring the mods.
posted by catlet at 2:41 PM on October 2, 2012


You know, I just realized I completed both of these surveys. What do I win?

and as an aside (or AY-SYDE), a reporter from the New York Times contacted me last night regarding a totally unrelated comment I made in a totally unrelated AskMe (or AXE-ME) post a month back. I wasn't able to really help her (or HYM) but let this be a warning to every one of y'all (or YAW'AWL): the liberal (or LIB'RUL) press is watching us.
posted by item at 2:51 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


So is it "Aye Am Kim Aye Am" or " Oyum Kimmium" or "Yam Kimmy Am"?
posted by Kabanos at 3:03 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I have learned from this research is that most Canadians are weird and that Cortex is Canadian.

Canadian.
posted by Diablevert at 3:23 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised that [mi-] is more common in the US and [mɛ-] is more common in the UK/Canada/Australia. If anything I expected the opposite, since "lever" is more often pronounced with a [li-] in the commonwealth countries and [lɛ-] in the US.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:05 PM on October 2, 2012


Canada - we're the meh-ist!

(That or we just don't like majorities, even for languages, given our recent political history?)
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:12 PM on October 2, 2012


I always thought it was "meh' - tuh - fill - tur".
posted by kyrademon at 4:14 PM on October 2, 2012


"No, uh, you wouldn't know my mod. He's—he lives in Canada."
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:18 PM on October 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


I never Metafilter I didn't like.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:22 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I swear I've looked through all the links in iamkimiam's Projects post, but I can't seem to find the location/pronunciation info folk are referring to: could someone point me in the right direction?

I'm absolutely 100% certain that every single British English speaker must be a 3a/meffy pronouncer, so it'd be nice to see whether that is indeed the case or a load of old bollocks. (Not that it matters in the long run - non-3a British English speakers will be first against the wall come the revolution.)

Wait. Not to be a strict originalist or anything, but how does mathowie pronounce it?

If memory serves he's a me-fye kind of guy?
posted by jack_mo at 4:40 PM on October 2, 2012


What's up with your pronunciation, Canada?

I am Canadian, and I think "Meh-Fee"-sayers are completely wrong about absolutely everything, the jerks. It would appear that 49% of my countrymen would agree with this sentiment to some extent.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:43 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It really warms the cockles of my heart that there is an academic journal devoted exclusively to the study of names and naming. Humans really will research and study anything. 60 volumes and counting!
posted by Deathalicious at 6:05 PM on October 2, 2012


But sidebar/"Best of" could fly, yes?

Yes. Added!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:05 PM on October 2, 2012


Sys Req, we are the 49%! Congratulations iamkimiam!
posted by arcticseal at 6:16 PM on October 2, 2012


How Mefites Pronounce Metafilter?

Doesn't seem very controversial: meh-tah-fil-ter
posted by DU at 6:37 PM on October 2, 2012


I love this so hard. Research and wonkery forever!
posted by smirkette at 6:39 PM on October 2, 2012


I still want to know, when can we fight figure out once and for all whether MeTa is "the grey" or "the gray"?

It's all professional white to me.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:23 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I swear I've looked through all the links in iamkimiam's Projects post, but I can't seem to find the location/pronunciation info folk are referring to: could someone point me in the right direction?

Here's the PDF of the submitted article from iamkimiam's website. Hope that's OK to provide here.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:35 PM on October 2, 2012


After all this reading it's about time for some Mai Tai filter, am I right? This guy here knows what I'm talking about. Airplane food is crazy, huh?
posted by mintcake! at 8:08 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Soh-ry
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 8:20 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I pronounce it as "that fucking life-ruining time sink that will one day get me fired and/or stabbed".
*pictures elizardbits lying on the floor next to her desk, with her boss standing over her body holding a knife as her life drains away and is absorbed by the carpet saying 'By the way, you're also fired!'*
posted by dg at 8:28 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]




By the way, you're also fired!

So there's an opening at Teen Wofl House?
posted by mintcake! at 8:37 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


My first published article

How is babby formed? Talk about burying the lede; we should all be congratulating you, to disguise our secret joy at being immortalized academically.
posted by dhartung at 11:56 PM on October 2, 2012


Maybe Table 1 should be added to the FAQ.

Congrats on the pub!
posted by carter at 6:41 AM on October 3, 2012


I keep trying to write a "welcome to the club, from one published ph.d student to another" post, but it keeps ending up terribly cynical, and that's more a comment on my current psychological state than anything else. So, without further pause:

Congratulations iamkimiam!
posted by Alterscape at 8:47 AM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


....Okay, so I decided to settle the argument by asking the cashier:

"Excuse me, miss, but how do you pronounce the came of this place, kisse Mee, kis SE mee, or kisse MEE?"

She blinked a couple times and said, "Well I just say McDonalds."

ooops. wrong thread...
posted by mule98J at 11:40 AM on October 3, 2012


The "stopheles" at the end is usually silent, then?
posted by tykky at 11:59 AM on October 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I pronounce it like "stop gap measures"
posted by clavdivs at 1:57 PM on October 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's the PDF of the submitted article from iamkimiam's website.

Thanks, Rock Steady!
posted by jack_mo at 4:31 PM on October 3, 2012


"A special thanks to MetaFilter member FishBike for calculating this result."

I love the internet.

Also, it's meh-fee, damnyouall!!!! (I'm such a minority in the US)
posted by Deoridhe at 8:30 PM on October 3, 2012


I've always pronounced it like a weird preppy nickname. "Meffy, love? Be a dear and bring me another cocktail."

In my brain that is being read by Thurston Howell III, which says something about the broken state of my brain, I suppose.

Congratulations, iamkimiam, on this milestone in your progress!
posted by mkhall at 6:41 AM on October 4, 2012


3b, represent! (makes ASL neologism of meh expression and fie! sign, then drops to the floor and does a windmill, ending in a headspin and a visit to the ER)
posted by zippy at 11:45 AM on October 4, 2012


I'd be interested in how Mefites born in New England break. They would, I hypothesize, be more similar to Canada/UK than US, due to a) historical cultural influence of the UK on said region, b) residents' base stubbornness a debatable second to the honey badger's, and 3) the influence of PBS NY and Boston serving the region's Monty Python quoting needs in the 1970s and 1980s.
posted by zippy at 11:56 AM on October 4, 2012


I'd be interested in how Mefites born in New England break.

Rarely, inconsistently, and abruptly, by my Boston experience. Oh, wait, that's 'break', not 'brake'. Sorry.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:25 PM on October 4, 2012


Boston, putting the bender in fender since forever.
posted by zippy at 12:30 PM on October 4, 2012


I am pleased to know that more Canadians than any other group pronounce Mefi correctly.

Next up, how do we pronounce iamkimiam? Like "I am Kim, I am" or "I am Kimiam" to sort of rhyme with simian?
posted by jeather at 12:49 PM on October 4, 2012


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