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Pronouncing Zoology

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Jimmy and his high-school classmates wonder about the pronunciation of words like zooplankton, zoology, and zoological. The traditional pronunciation for many scientific terms that start with zoo- is to use a long o rather than an oo sound. The reason stems from the fact that the original Greek roots for these words use two different Greek letters — omega, which is a long o, and omicron, which is a short one. These days, though, the word zoo, short for zoological garden, influences the way lay people pronounce those words. This is part of a complete episode.

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