24 Apr 2006

How do you pronounce "Impress"?

Submitted by Karl Hagen
For the most part, I use OpenOffice, unless I am absolutely forced to do otherwise. I've found it to be a good replacement for Microsoft Office (apart from a few annoyances). One thing that has been bugging me, though, has nothing to do with its technical deficiencies. What I want to know is how are we supposed to pronounce "Impress", the PowerPoint equivalent for OpenOffice. In other words, are we suppsed to read it as a verb, with the stress on the second syllable, or a noun, with the stress on the first. As an ordinary word, "impress" is one of those that use stress to distinguish the part of speech. It behaves the same way as words like "record" or "contrast." I suspect it was probably intended as a verb (impress others with your presentation), simply because it's the more common form. But it makes sense as a noun too (the distinctive mark), and when I read the application name, I intuitively tend to stress the first syllable because I think of an application name as a noun. Googling didn't turn up any official answer. Nor do the other application names in the OpenOffice suite help by indicating a consistent pattern. Writer, Base, and Math are all clearly derived from nouns. Draw, on the other hand, comes from a verb. Calc is ambiguous (from "calculate" or "calculator"?). Any thoughts?