How to pronounce ‘Omicron’ correctly
- Expert linguists have identified four different common pronunciations of “Omicron”, the letter of the Greek alphabet currently designated for a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 spreading across the world.
- Experts have said that there isn’t a single correct pronunciation, but the most common (and popular) option begins with a harsh “AH” sound.
- You can see the full pronunciations below, including the option used by the majority of scientists.
The latest identified strain of COVID-19, known as Omicron by health officials around the world, is proving difficult in more ways than one. In addition to its threat of viral spread among unvaccinated individuals and the lack of confirmed information on the impact of this version on communities, it seems Americans are struggling to discuss the variant among themselves.
A new report from the US Captioning Company says “omicron” took first place on a list released this week of words that have proven to be the most difficult for presenters and TV personalities to pronounce this year, according to CBS News.
As you may have guessed, officials at the World Health Organization have started naming different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (which leads to a diagnosis of COVID-19) from letters. of the Greek alphabet earlier this year, with names like Lambda and Delta gain notoriety in 2021 due to significant media coverage. Omicron is just one of the five particular strains that are currently identified as of concern by international health officials; eventually, there may be enough variations to carry the name of the entire Greek alphabet.
How do you actually say Omicron?
The tricky part of talking about Omicron in a conversation is that there is no Unique pronunciation used internationally by scientists. Indeed, the linguists interviewed by the New York Times indicate that there is no “single and agreed English pronunciation” for the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet.
There are currently four different pronunciations in circulation to talk about the Omicron variant:
- OH-muh-kraan: The pronunciation as dictated by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
- AH-muh-kraan: How it’s most often stated by Americans, according to Merriam Webster.
- oh-MY-kron: One of the main pronunciations listed by The New Oxford English Dictionary, but those from European countries sound like “o-MIKE-ron”, according to the same Time report.
- OH-mee-kraan: a less common pronunciation but sometimes used, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demonstrated in this clip.
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So Who do you need to use pronunciation? As the the Wall Street newspaper, scientists in the United States could take the example of a WHO official who pronounced it as “OH-muh-kraan”, stressing the harsh Oh ring.
However, Merriam Webster makes it clear that it is perfectly common and acceptable to say Omicron using a hard drive. uh its at the start.
Peter Sokolowski, editor-in-chief of Merriam Webster, told the Time that since “omicron” was to be transliterated (or translated entirely to another style of alphabet), there is currently no mispronunciation of the word here in the United States.
There will likely be more confusion in the future, as other variations will become more virulent during the winter season. WHO officials have previously indicated that they are trying to keep things as simple as possible: in November, a representative told CNN they skipped the alphabet names “Nu” and “Xi” because the latter is a common surname. They try to avoid “harming cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups” in the future.
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