# LaTeX Why is Latex pronounced as "Latec"?

#### Zack K

I've always pronounced it as its spell. It seems weird that you pronounce the x as a c/k.

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#### andrewkirk

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Because the thing that looks like an X is supposed to be a Greek letter $\chi$, which has a hard 'k' sound rather than 'ks'.

#### DrClaude

Mentor
There is a link in there to a conference Knuth gave in 2010 using hand-written transparencies!

#### fresh_42

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2018 Award
Because the thing that looks like an X is supposed to be a Greek letter $\chi$, which has a hard 'k' sound rather than 'ks'.

Thanks, I started to doubt that I pronounced it wrong all the years, since I pronounce it with a $\chi$ which in Greek is neither $k$ nor $x$.
[çi:]

Staff Emeritus
"Latex" is pronounced "LAY-tex". $\LaTeX$, however, is pronounced "lah-TEHK".

#### fresh_42

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2018 Award
"Latex" is pronounced "LAY-tex". $\LaTeX$, however, is pronounced "lah-TEHK".
Sure it shouldn't be L.A.Tehk?

#### StatGuy2000

"Latex" is pronounced "LAY-tex". $\LaTeX$, however, is pronounced "lah-TEHK".
I have never heard LaTeX pronounced "lah-TEHK". Nearly everyone I've ever worked with pronounced it "LAY-tehk". In fact, the post by @andrewkirk above gives an explanation regarding pronunciation, and the link he's provided confirms my own observations.

#### DrClaude

Mentor
Sure it shouldn't be L.A.Tehk?
Sure! Leslie Lamport said he doesn't care how you pronounce it, so long that it is not "L.A."

#### Borek

Mentor
Why is X pronounced 'its own way unrelated to anything else' is a question that can be asked about every second English word.

#### BillTre

Gold Member
2018 Award
Why is X pronounced 'its own way unrelated to anything else' is a question that can be asked about every second English word.
Clearly, X (in the English language) is a variable and can be replaced with a variety of different sounds.

#### fresh_42

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2018 Award
Clearly, X (in the English language) is a variable and can be replaced with a variety of different sounds.
But $\chi$ equals (which - t - wh - i).

#### Klystron

Gold Member
Pronounce a neologism how you prefer. Understanding then becomes a problem for your audience.

Seriously. Appending a Greek letter to a Latin-sounding prefix makes for an interesting logo but the answer to your question could be: pronounce the word as the people around you do to the best of your ability.

Personally, I treat the Chi as an x and (mis)-pronounce the neologism as I would the x in the word 'text' with a long a in the first syllable. Lay-tex like the older commercial name for acrylic paint (latex).

Mentor

#### Klystron

Gold Member
There's another part of the story....[snip]...and latex is a paint...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaTeX
Vindication of my pronunciation at the third level of analysis; extract from @jedishrfu link with my bold text:

"The characters T, E, X in the name come from the Greek capital letters tau, epsilon, and chi, as the name of TeX derives from the Greek: τέχνη (skill, art, technique); for this reason, TeX's creator Donald Knuth promotes a pronunciation of /tɛx/ (tekh)[15] (that is, with a voiceless velar fricative as in Modern Greek, similar to the ch in loch). Lamport writes "TeX is usually pronounced tech, making lah-teck, lah-teck, and lay-teck the logical choices; but language is not always logical, so lay-tecks is also possible."

"Why is Latex pronounced as "Latec"?"

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