The word “laser” is actually an acronym: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
By the logic of always using the pronunciation of the member letters as they are in the root words, then “laser” should be pronounced lah-seer.
We don’t pronounce it that way. For two reasons. First, the people who invented the term pronounced it lay-zer, and, second, it sounds dumb.
we don’t pronounce it that way for the same reason that we can tell a difference btwn “raped” and “rapped”
which, again, is why I choose to pronounce “gif” like “gift” but without the T
Those aren’t acronyms though! But that’s a great example for why you shouldn’t remove letters from words to explain other words’ pronunciation. I mean, explaining to someone how you’re pronouncing it in this easy way is alright, but if you say that “gif” is pronounced like “gift” without the last letter, then you could justify mispronouncing “rap” basing on “rape” the same way (although there’s an E involved and that is kind of a different case, but, still. that’s dangerous)
But I don’t think people who invented the name LASER chose this pronunciation. This is the natural pronunciation you want to go for when you see that word, especially when it’s lower case. It’s so popular and widely used that people have forgotten that it’s actually an acronym and not just a word. Which btw is kind of amazing ‘cause wow lasers!
And pronouncing “gif” with a hard G (BTW the name of the letter is pronounced with a soft G NOW HOW CRAZY IS THAT RIGHT? HAHA OH NO THE LETTER ITSELF IS PRONOUNCED INCORRECTLY) is intuitive, definitely. I used to pronounce it like that. Just like I used to pronounce JPG as…uhh if you’re curious, go to google translate, choose Polish, write jpg and listen to that. That’s how. If I’d needed it in English, I would have gone for “jay pee gee”. Also “pee en gee”. Until I discovered that, holy shit, they’re universally, casually, like it’s no big deal, pronounced “jay peg” and “ping”. Fucking. How. Now THAT doesn’t make any sense.
And when I learnt about this weird pronunciation of GIF that its inventors wanted, I was like “lol no way am I doing that haha” and then without realising it, against myself, started using it, because hard G started feeling wrong. God, I’m weird when it comes to grammar and stuff.
But uhh I wandered off when what I wanted to say is all that, HOWEVER
I totally agree with the argument that laser would be pronounced something like lahsser and just…like
There are arguments in favour of pronouncing GIF with a hard G. But don’t bring the word “graphics” into this. It’s an acronym, and heeyyyy it’s not THAT rare that when you say an acronym, some letters are different sounds than the original word.
But I don’t agree with the reasons, 1. I don’t know how they pronounced it, it’s the first thing that pops into your mind and that is a pro-hard-G argument so why are you using it, and 2. no it doesn’t sound dumb that’s how I pronounce it when I’m speaking my language because that’s how we normally pronounce those letters and I can assure you it sounds fine
we pronounce it as layzer because 1. we’re speaking English 2. it’s an acronym and it’s supposed to be pronounced like a word 3. that’s how it would be pronounced if it were a word, which it’s become anyway
(and for the same reasons, apart from the first one, it might be pronounced differently in different languages, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some people weren’t even considering hard/soft G for GIF but something completely different)completely different)