[erlang-questions] "Mnesia" Pronunciation

Kostis Sagonas <>
Tue Dec 4 22:52:56 CET 2007

Andras Georgy Bekes wrote:
>> Since it was named by a bunch of Swedes who tend to pronounce
>> it /m-NEA-sia/, any damn way you like is probably ok. :-)
> According to wikipedia, amnesia in greek is Ἀμνησία, so mnesia must be 
> μνησία. I think we should ask the question: How did the ancient greek 
> pronounce μνησία?

AFAIK, μνησία does not exist as a word -- which I personally find 
strange since αμνησία (*) does exist (in modern Greek too) where
the initial 'α' indeed means "negation of".

I did find a reference to a guy named Μνησίας, who apparently was the 
father of a famous(?) Ancient Greek Mathematician, I'd frankly never 
heard of.  But I doubt that he had anything to do with Erlang/OTP :-)

The base word was and still is: μνήμη (means: memory).
Also, the word "mnemosyne" does exist in Greek -- in contrast to
its OTP counterpart which is obsolescent.

Anyway, if you really want to pretend it's derived from a Greek word 
alright, "mnesia" should definitely be pronounced with an "m"
(the Swedes are correct in its pronunciation, while American/British 
people are not).  If you want to be exact, the intonation should be on 
the "i".

Since the above explanation is probably extremely confusing to most, let 
me also suggest that it is pronounced as Richard wrote: any damn way you 
like  ;-)



(*) Note: not exactly what Andras wrote, which is definitely incorrect.
     In Greek, an ' in some vowel just denotes the place in the word
     where the intonation is supposed to be (Greek is wonderful in this
     respect) and there can only be one such place in each word.

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