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My editor informed me that, if I use any diaeresis marks at all, then I must be consistent! I consistently use a diaeresis mark in coördinator and coöperation.

The periodical, Popular Educator (c 1890) had this to say:

“The Diæresis: [#] 77. The diæresis shows that the letter over which it is placed is to be pronounced separately; as, Creätor, zoönomia, aërial … “

I agree with, zo-onomia; and I can understand, Cre-ator, but a-erial?

The Encarta Dictionary (c 2000) shows the pronunciation of (aerial) as áiree əl.

Is it just my accent, or is there a hiatus in aerial?

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The Webster's 1892 International Dictionary clearly shows a hiatus in the word aerial. I believe the predominant pronunciation has changed since then. –  Peter Shor Mar 1 '13 at 21:16
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if it were anywhere, why wouldn't it be over the final A to separate it from the I? Wouldn't placing it over the E indicate a new syllable (ending with 4 syllables)? I say it with 3 syllables (air/ee/schwa-l) –  Dan Mar 1 '13 at 21:18
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If you look up aërial in the 1892 Webster's International dictionary (linked in my above comment) it did then have four syllables: ay EE ri al (/eɪˈi.rɪ.əl/). –  Peter Shor Mar 1 '13 at 21:24
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If you want to talk to English speaking people in 1892, by all means insert a hiatus. If you're speaking colloquial English, don't be silly. –  John Lawler Mar 2 '13 at 20:30
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Are you using the diaeresis to explain how to pronounce these words in your text? Because if you are simply writing normal text you would not use a diaeresis at all in these words. Cooperative is often written as one word, or hyphenated - see The Co-operative Bank. –  Mynamite Mar 3 '13 at 20:15
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1 Answer

This may just be my Australian accent, but I would pronounce that word as: "Air-ree-(schwa)l".

I don't hear any hiatuses.

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That's the way everybody else in the world pronounces it too, as far as I know. Dictionaries from 1892 show an archaic pronunciation with four syllables. –  Peter Shor Mar 6 '13 at 15:34
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