All dictionaries, American and British, have used /ks/ for the transcription of 'cc' in the word ' buccinator'. However, l have noticed that some medical instructors use /ks/, others use /k/ and a few of them use /s/. My question is: is it correct to use /k/ and /s/. By the way, the medical instructors are native American and British.

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    People can pronounce words however they wish. If a certain medical folks wish to pronounce a word differently from the hoi polloi, that's there choice. Whether they have any linguistic or other leg to stand on is a different story. It came from Latin. Latin was pronounced differently over the ages. There is no authority except the people in "determining" how something "should be" pronounced. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 11:20

2 Answers 2


As others have mentioned, different people pronounce words different ways. "Correct" is a matter of opinion. I like consistency, so I pronounce "flaccid" with /ks/ and "foci" with /s/, because these pronunciations seem most consistent to me with the pronunciations of other words, such as "success" and "acid." But many people pronounce "flaccid" with /s/, and many people pronounce "foci" with /k/.

Because medical or anatomical terms are often read before they are heard, many of them have odd pronunciation variants, like "me-DOO-la" for "medulla".

If you hear a certain pronunciation from your medical instructor, it indicates that probably nothing terrible will happen to you if you use that pronunciation. Probably, nothing terrible will happen to you if you use the dictionary pronunciation either.


These are the pronunciations gathered from several dictionaries. They're all more or less the same modulo small differences in representation.

ˈbəksəˌneɪtər ˈbʌksəˌneɪtəɹ ˈbʌksəneɪtər bʌksəneɪtər ˈbʌksineitә ˈbʌks.ɪ.neɪt.ə ˈbʌksɪˌneɪtə ˈbʌksɪneɪtə bʌksɪneɪtə ˈbʌk.sɪˌneɪ.tər ˈbʌksɪˌneɪtər

  • Add links to all those dictionaries.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 6, 2021 at 1:19

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