FILE - This 2006 file photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. The The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, announced new guidance for doctors whose pregnant patients may have traveled to regions with a tropical illness linked to birth defects. Officials say doctors should ask pregnant women about their travel and certain symptoms, and, if warranted, test them for an infection with the Zika virus. The virus is spread through mosquito bites. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File) (James Gathany/Associated Press)

Regarding the Feb. 2 Health & Science article “Insect has quashed attempts to erase it from hemisphere”:

In the management world, there is a problem called stovepiping, in which the various functions being managed independently develop their own, sometimes mutually contradictory ways of doing things. In science writing, the same thing happens. Which sort of expert provided the pronunciation of “Aedes aegypti” in this article? I’ll bet it was a scientist and not a linguist.

Granted, there is no standardized way of pronouncing the Latin and Latinized Greek words used in the sciences, but the pronunciation given in the article, “AYE-dees uh-GYP-tie,” was unpleasant on several levels. To begin with, English dictionaries generally treat “Aedes” as a three-syllable word, and they sometimes print it with a dieresis (“aëdes”) to indicate that. That’s not the only problem with the pronunciation given: Why is the initial “ae” pronounced “aye” and the “ae” in “aegypti” pronounced “uh”? And why, in this age of globalization, when so many of us speak other languages — and understand that thanks to the great English vowel shift the vowels of English are pronounced unlike those of any other language that uses the Roman alphabet — is the final “i” given the sound “eye” and not “ee”?  In short, pronounce it like so: “ah-A-days eye-GYP-tee.”

By the way, the Latinized Classical Greek word “aëdes” sums all of this up nicely: It means “unpleasant” or “nauseating.” 

James A. McKenney, Rockville