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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Mon May 31, 2021 9:11 pm

• reprise •

Pronunciation: ri-preezHear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A repetition, recapitulation, remake, rerun.

Notes: Today's word preserves the French pronunciation in violation of the rule that a finale E makes the preceding vowel long. The English pronunciation should be [ripraiz], though in legalese, this pronunciation is acceptable. This noun may be used as a verb, too, as in, "Sinatra reprised several of his earlier songs."

In Play: The word is most often used in the world of creative arts, such as the repetition of a sequence in a musical performance or a repetition of the performance itself: "The ballads of the 40s and 50s had a template: two choruses, a bridge, followed by a reprise of the first melody." A reprise doesn't have to be artistic, though: "A few financial pundits are predicting a reprise of the 2007 economic collapse any day now."

Word History: Today's Good Word is an exact copy of Old French reprise "act of taking back", the feminine past participle of reprendre "take back". This verb was passed down to French from Latin reprehendere "to censure, rebuke; seize", originally "pull back, hold back," from re- "back, again" + prehendere "to grasp, seize". This verb is made up of pre- "before" + -hendere from PIE ghe(n)d- "to seize, take", which, without the Fickle N, went into the making of English get and guess. The latter was borrowed from a Scandinavian word akin to Old Swedish gissa "to guess", a remodeling of Old Germanic getison "to try to get, aim at". Latin exhibits words without the N, too, as we see in praeda "prey", which French reduced to preie before English borrowed it as prey. Predatory originated in Latin, too.
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Philip Hudson
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Re: Reprise

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:21 pm

I know the word in the musical sense. I now know that I have been pronouncing it wrong for many a year. Do I chalk this up to my red-neck heritage or just to general ignorance?
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David Myer
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Re: Reprise

Postby David Myer » Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:24 am

I think you may be a little harsh on yourself, Philip. As the good Dr says, this is a French word and the 'ease' pronunciation is surely a direct lift from the French. But of course it has been in use for years in English so my vote is that there is no shame in anglicising it.

And we have to remember that in music, it is still fashionable to use the foreign (mostly Italian) words with their original pronunciation. Maybe it is time for a change. Andant instead of andantay, anyone?

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Re: Reprise

Postby Slava » Thu Jun 17, 2021 8:52 am

I think the re-prize v repr-ease pronunciation mistake probably comes from the word reprisal. I sure don't say the musical term easily.
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