29 August 2008

Should we root or 'rowt'?

When Australians take journeys, they follow routes and they pronounce them 'roots'. It's widely understood that Australian men in particular are always looking for quick ones. Why then do so many Australians insist upon calling their networking devices 'rowters'? Are we really so infantile that we can't pronounce a perfectly decent word correctly without descending into toilet-humour titters? Surely the defence that 'it's just too embarrassing' is a pretty feeble one.

Then there's the oft-heard 'American pronunciation' defence. Interestingly, though, plenty of Americans do in fact use the British pronunciation, and no less authority than Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary gives both pronunciations, but the British one first.

And of course, there is already a device pronounced 'rowter'. It's a woodworking tool, and its etymology is very different. So unless we are planning to carve channels in our networks, can't we just call them 'rooters' and get over it?

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