[R] Is there a canonical way to pronounce CRAN?

Avi Gross @v|gro@@ @end|ng |rom ver|zon@net
Thu May 5 02:24:26 CEST 2022

Extended discussion may be a waste but speaking for myself, I found it highly enlightening to hear that many had a mental image of an alternate way to pronounce CRAN as it so OBVIOUSLY had a natural way to pronounce.

I often cringe when I listen to an audio book in the car and the person chosen to narrate gets words not just wrong but very wrong as in nobody in any country would likely pronounce it that way!

TV shows and elsewhere do the same. If someone asked me to check if something was on see-ran or even see-are-a-en, it might take me a moment to shift gears and realize they meant CRAN. There is no real right or wrong way and we see organizations with names hard to pronounce like FBI or CIA are often referred to with words like Quantico or Langley based on an area they are associated with. People like words they can hope to pronounce like the non-existent UNCLE or even SMERSH and KAOS.

I will say it is quite logical if you see C-SPAN as see-span then CPAN as C-PAN you might then see CRAN the way you do as C-RAN.

But consider the many functions and packages in a language like R and ask if everyone thinks or pronounces them the way you do? How many initially read runif() as run-if until you realized it was a distribution of uniform random numbers in R as compared to rnorm() for an R version of a normal distribution and thus maybe can be pronounced more like r-unif and r-norm. Also, runif is part of a related set of functions all having something to do with a uniform distribution, dunif(), punif() and qunif() so, again, it hints to some of a consistent way to speak them aloud. Of course, in written form, they speak for themselves. 
But not everything can or should be pronounced. We do not all speak the same languages or the same way. Sometimes spelling things out as C-R-A-N is a better way to go albeit if the others pronounce those letters differently, you end up like people who think there is a Hungarian word for something like vey-tsey to mean toilet when it actually is spelled WC as in borrowed from the English Water Closet and the way you say W as a letter of the alphabet followed by the way you say C as a letter of the alphabet sounds ...

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Lemon <drjimlemon using gmail.com>
To: Stephen P. Molnar <s.molnar using sbcglobal.net>; r-help mailing list <r-help using r-project.org>
Sent: Wed, May 4, 2022 6:46 pm
Subject: Re: [R] Is there a canonical way to pronounce CRAN?

Perhaps not entirely a waste. Shots have been fired over less.
Allow the neologism 'packronym' to signify the packing of an acronym
into a pronounceable word.
(A necessary skill in the public service. If you cannot correctly
pronounce DFAT, resign yourself to menial labor)
If we endorse the anglophone packronym we get:
An Italian might lean toward:
while Spanish (the happiest language, they say) would produce:
So Babel continues to amuse or enrage us, depending upon our emotional
I dare not comment upon those who would laboriously spell it out as:
Charlie Romeo Alfa November


On Thu, May 5, 2022 at 4:05 AM Stephen P. Molnar <s.molnar using sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Yes, I know that I'm contributing, but what a waste of band width.

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