language, writing

How to Pronounce “Corp” and “Corps”

This isn’t that big a deal but it bothers me nonetheless. I have worked for at least three companies that have the word “corporation” in the official name: Plenum Publishing Corporation, News Corporation and now Fox Corporation. So naturally, the companies and most folks will abbreviate the “Corporation” part to just “Corp.”

And yet a lot of people seem to pronounce this abbreviation wrong; they say “core.”

Um, no. The “p” is not silent.

Are they confusing “corp.” with “corps”? As in Marine CorpsPeace Corps, and Army Corps of Engineers, in which the “p” is indeed silent? Seems that way.

Indeed, “corps” and “corp.” are related—both are derived from the Latin word “corpus.”

“Corps” comes directly from the French word for body and thus the “p” is silent. You pronounce it “core.”

But “corp.” or “corp” with no period (as in News Corp, or Citicorp [now branded as Citigroup], or C-corp), as the abbreviation of “corporation,” which is derived directly from “corpus,” does not have a silent “p.”

So you say “corp,” not “core.”

If you don’t believe me, then go read this from the Cambridge dictionary. The interesting thing, though: this entry says that the Brits pronounce the full word “corporation” even when it is abbreviated. Only we Americans say “corp.”

And that concludes this edition of Arunwithaview Knows Best.

Cheers.

(If you like my laser-like attention to minutiae like this, hire me to  help craft your copy.)

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