## How do you pronounce phi?

As a first year physics student, the Greek alphabet bewilders me. I'm sure everyone here has made the mistake of confusing a nu for a v, and yesterday I found out that I am incapable of writing zeta. However, the worst offender in my book is the letter phi. In the E&M textbook I am using (by Purcell), flux is denoted by $$\Phi$$, and electric potential is denoted by $$\phi$$ -- except when it's denoted by $$\varphi$$. Worst of all, I can't decide whether it rhymes with "lie" or "lee." A Google search shows that there are a lot of people who pronounce it different ways (see this and this.) My question to you, is how do you pronounce it? Have you noticed different pronunciations in different contexts?

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 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Phi rhymes with Pi, Chi, Psi, and perhaps Xi.

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 Quote by brewnog Phi rhymes with Pi, Chi, Psi, and perhaps Xi.
And in England they rhyme with pie, but in Greece they rhyme with pee.

## How do you pronounce phi?

I usually say "phy", but for the last couple of years, ever since I went through a semester with a physics II professor who always said "phee", it sounds wrong to me no matter which way I say it.

 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus I say it as "fie." Even if "fee" is the right way to say it, it never sounded right to me. Though, I used to find endless amusement in the tongue-twisting power of the letter Xi when pronounced ksee (sort of), especially in partial derivatives...in P-chem, about all I can remember is that dXi (yeah yeah yeah, one of these days I'll figure out how that LaTex stuff works to write that properly) was used a lot and it amused me endlessly to listen to the prof stumble over saying it when giving lecture. He was a hard-nose with a reputation for failing about half the class, which he lived up to so nobody was going to feel sorry for him if we found things amusing at his expense. (When I sheepishly went in to meet with the dean of academic affairs to request permission to retake the class when I got a D in it...my one and only D, ever!...she asked me what happened that I got a D in a class, and as soon as I said it was P-chem, she stopped me and said there was no need to explain further and signed my form.)
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus Hey, I pronounce ξ as ksee! (lol, of all the ones they could've chosen to actually look right in the default font...) I rather enjoy the strange consonant sounds of foreign languages, though! I've gotten in the habit of pronouncing φ as phee so much that phy sounds wrong... but psee for ψ and even worse pee for π really grate my ears.

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 Quote by Hurkyl Hey, I pronounce ? as ksee! (lol, of all the ones they could've chosen to actually look right in the default font...)
It took me long enough to learn how to write that properly! I had never seen the lower case form written before that P-chem class, and it took me a while to figure out it was a real letter and not some lazy scribble. What can I say, I already had previous run-ins with language difficulties. When I took multivariable calc, one of the first lectures started out with the Russian prof talking about a rrrrrrode (that's a rolled r). It took us about three lectures to finally realize he meant a plain, old-fashioned, ordinary rod, as in the cylindrical object, not some Greek character or symbol or special math term. Anyway, it's still fun to say Deeksee, which was how our prof said d? (say it out loud a few times and you'll understand).

Edit: oh well, guess I can't just copy and paste it from your post.

 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus Complain to chroot. You should be able to quote my ξ. In fact, I just cut-pasted it from my post to here myself! Well, it could just be your system sucks.

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 Quote by Hurkyl Complain to chroot. You should be able to quote my ?. In fact, I just cut-pasted it from my post to here myself! Well, it could just be your system sucks.
You're picking on my system! It's funny, because it shows up just fine in the reply box, and then doesn't show up in the post. Let me try pasting one in from Word on my computer. ? <---this one's mine. Yours is in the quote. Since I'm on a Mac, it might see it differently somehow. Though why should that affect how the forum displays it?

Edit: nope...huh, weird. I don't get to use ksee. Maybe the software can tell I'm up to no good with it.

 Quote by Moonbear Anyway, it's still fun to say Deeksee, which was how our prof said d? (say it out loud a few times and you'll understand).
Oh, I wish I was in $\partial \xi$, hooray, hooray ...

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 Quote by selfAdjoint And in England they rhyme with pie, but in Greece they rhyme with pee.
isnt it a greek symbol? if so, think the appropriate would be however its said in greek. My profs say it like it rhymes with pee.

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 Quote by gnome Oh, I wish I was in $\partial \xi$, hooray, hooray ...
Thank you for using tex so I can actually quote you (I hope).

 Quote by Moonbear Thank you for using tex so I can actually quote you (I hope).
You're welcome. It's great fun being a high-tech idiot.

 "fee" sounds like an american adaptation. I noticed most of my university professors use "phy" thought.
 Recognitions: Gold Member http://www.sju.edu/alphaphi/History/Symbols.htm Says its pronounced like pee

 Quote by Pengwuino http://www.sju.edu/alphaphi/History/Symbols.htm Says its pronounced like pee
To be exact, it says:
 In Greek, the letter Phi is pronounced "Fee" ...
but isn't this discussion about how non-Greeks pronounce it?

 Recognitions: Gold Member Shouldnt we pronounce it how the original people pronounce it? I thought we're discussing how its suppose ot be said and when i think of "suppose to", i think of how it was originally said.