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I know the pronunciation of the word in its traditional sense. Lately I’ve been researching fitness largely via online videos, and whenever someone refers to motion transforming rotation into back-and-forth, he/she pronounces this as “EE-sen-tric” motion, rather than “ek-SEN-tric”. However I can’t find a resource that provides for this alternate pronunciation.

Is the former pronunciation acceptable and/or proper when referring to a type of motion?

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    Any idea if the speech in the videos were BrE, AmE? Or what country they were from?
    – user3169
    Aug 27, 2018 at 1:36
  • Mostly American. One Canadian.
    – bloomers
    Aug 27, 2018 at 1:51
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    Seems familiar technically for some reason, put I can't place it. Maybe a technical term like "e-centric" (I made this up but maybe something similar)? Any chance to add a link to a video to get the context?
    – user3169
    Aug 27, 2018 at 2:07
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    I would always pronounce it "ek-SEN-tric", don't know who are these people? :) Aug 27, 2018 at 5:46
  • This pronunciation variant seems to be prevalent in athletics, physiology and exercise science. I've never heard it outside of that community, yet it's virtually universal within that community.
    – Fixee
    May 7, 2020 at 2:17

1 Answer 1

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The pronunciation you heard is a rare variant pronunciation. Most speakers would either be unfamiliar with it, or would consider it incorrect. This variant pronunciation isn't restricted in general to any one particular meaning of the word eccentric (I know, because I used to have a tendency to pronounce "eccentric" without a /k/ sound), although perhaps there are some speakers who only use it for some senses of the word.

I haven't seen pronunciations like “EE-sen-tric” described as acceptable, let alone proper, by anyone who believes in and cares about the idea of "proper" pronunciation. If you're trying to be "correct", you should use /ks/ in this word, whether you are referring to a person or a motion. It is generally considered acceptable to pronounce the vowel in the first syllable either as unreduced /ɛ/, or as reduced /ɪ/ or /ə/ (/ə/ could only be used in an accent with the "weak vowel merger", but this merger is fairly common: compare how accept and except can be homophones for many American English speakers).

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