This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A correspondent writes: - "Vick accents the first syllable; Webster, the second; and those not favored with the perusal of either, the third. Among those who wish to be governed by authority, the question arises: 'Under which king?' We were inclined to follow Webster, but examination reveals the fact that he has not followed his own analogy. For he has glad'- iator and glad'- iole both from the same root as gladiolus. So that apart from the consideration of whether Vick is not the higher authority in such tilings, he certainly has followed what seems to be correct analogy. We surrender to Rochester, while awaiting the decision of the Editor. Gladi'- olus."
[The analogy is not with its root but with the class to which it belongs. Diminutives have their penults short, in this respect differing from adjectives which have their penultimse long. The classical pronunciation therefore is gladi'- olus, that is, "a little sword." - Ed. G. M.]
Pronunciation of gladiolus - A valued correspondent writes in regard to the paragraph at page 29: "We say Gladiolus, because the penult, is short, and the rule is that when the penult is short the accent falls on the ante-penult."
"Now, if it be asked why the ' i' is short, the answer is given in the first rule in prosody in my Latin grammar: 'A vowel before another vowel, or a dipthong, is short;' to which follows a string of exceptions, none applicable to gladiolus.
"Then the case is hit by another rule: ' Diminutives in olus, etc, - shorten the penult.' "