LINGUIST List 13.36

Wed Jan 9 2002

Qs: "cent" Pronunciation, "pur" in Ancient Persian

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  1. Pfandl Heinrich, Pronunciation of the word "cent" in different languages
  2. Dr. Joel M. Hoffman, "Pur" in ancient Persian?

Message 1: Pronunciation of the word "cent" in different languages

Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 14:13:00 +0100
From: Pfandl Heinrich <>
Subject: Pronunciation of the word "cent" in different languages

Dear colleagues,

I am interested in the following phenomenon:

With the introduction of the new currency, the euro and its smaller
coin, the "cent" (the 100th part of a euro/as there are 100 cents to
one euro), the EC is trying to create a new identity for its members.
The name of the smaller coin, "cent", looks to me more like a simple
imitation of the American model, which is reinforced by the
pronunciation used in most of the mass-media of German-speaking
countries [sent]. In German the expected pronunciation given this
spelling would or should have been [tsent], which would also have led
to an awareness of the difference between European and American money,
and thus of a separate European identity. In France people seem to
have made the word into "centimes", as in their present (French)
currency, in part also to avoid a confusion with the word for
"hundred". As there are no official directives concerning the
pronunciation of this word, this is a perfect chance for the linguist
to observe, how within a very short time a norm will be established
based exclusively on usage.

Could you, please, let me know how the word is pronounced in your
country and how your language deals with this matter? Thank you.

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Message 2: "Pur" in ancient Persian?

Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 12:47:54 -0500 (EST)
From: Dr. Joel M. Hoffman <>
Subject: "Pur" in ancient Persian?

In the Old Testament book of Esther, which is written almost entirely
in Hebrew, there's a non-Hebrew word PUR translated (in the book) as
GORAL, which means "fate" or "lot."

I'm looking for information on where PUR might have come from, and
information about the word. Is it Persian? Is it used in any other
documents from the time?

Thanks for any pointers.

-Joel Hoffman
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