When did this happen?


When I was young, the word “epoch” was pronounced with what I THINK that second pronunciation string shows – “EH-puck”.

Now folks are saying “EE-pok”.

When did this happen? HOW did this happen?

…I’m reminded of “Darius”, which (as Asimov points out) was pronounced “du-RY-us”, or (if you said it fast) “DRY-us”. But some folks read the name twenty or thirty years ago and never heard it pronounced, and it looked like “DAR-ee-us” to them, and now we’ve got rock stars named that way who pronounce it that way.

Hey, I can understand being mistaken – there are many words that I read as a kid and never heard pronounced; nobody in Alabama ever used the word “debacle” in my hearing, so I thought that it was “DEH-ba-kul”. There are many examples that do not come to mind right now, but one that does is “Heinlein”, which I pronounced as “Hine-line”, but turns out that it’s “Hine-lin”.

But the point is this – when I found out different, I changed my pronunciation.

Oh, well, reckon I’m just an example of self-will run riot. Folks are not going to change back.

But I’ll be *&^%$#@ed if I’m gonna say “EE-pok”. Sounds like a character in Star Wars.

  1. Donna M Rode said:

    EH-puk is how I learned this one. I’ve never heard ee-pok 🙂

    • I hear it from programmers; in that context, it refers to the number of milliseconds since midnight 1 January 1970.

      And programmers – most of them – have never actually talked to, you know, *people* : )

  2. Dave C said:

    I think I’ve always known it as ee-pok, but then what do I know, I’m a durn furner and talk with a strange accent.

    • You do talk funny, and don’t even know how to spell “furriner” : )

  3. How about Enoch? Maybe those E-pock sayers are more old-testment type folks?
    I’m ok with either pronunciation. I find eh-poc hard to distinguish from eh-pic, like
    “The Ten Commandments is epic cinema.”

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