Well, if you work under the assumption that the 'cephalo' part is from ancient Greek, and if you happen to be a pedant (), then you'll want to pronounce it 'kefalopods'. The word in Greek begins with a kappa (κ), pronounced like a 'k'. I don't believe a soft 'c' was ever used in ancient Greek. Someone please correct me if I'm in error.
However, it is not incorrect to say 'sefalopods', since ancient Greek is long dead and millions of people have pronounced it 'sefalopods' for much longer than we've been alive.
I normally pronounce it something like 'sheflupodzh', on account of the partial paralysis of my vocal apparatus which is induced by the high concentration of ethanol usually found in my blood. But that's just me. And maybe Phil.
I think I remember Colin once saying that over in Scotland they pronounce it as a "k"... I use "s"! Per the About Us | Site FAQ page:
Cephalopod? What's a cephalopod?
Cephalopods (pronounced "sefalopods" and rhymes with "Jeff-a-low-gods") are marine mollusks of the class Cephalopoda, such as octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, or nautilus.
What's all these rumours I keep hearing about my drinking capacity? They are totally unfounded, at least since last night.....
Same applies to the 'C' sound in Latin. I believe the Romans pronounced 'C' as a hard 'K', not 'See'. Also 'J' was not pronounced 'Jay', but 'I' or 'U'. Hence Julius Caesar should be pronounced 'Ulius Kaesar'.
You should be at a sci-fi convention where they argue about how to pronounce "cthulhu"...I sit at the bar, drink beer and smoke dunhill's and laugh, laugh, laugh...
There are always a lot of different opinions on how to pronounce Linnean names also...seems like a moot point to me, but heck, I am just an illustrator! :D
I like to use both pronunciations in the same paragraph...that way, you keep everyone on their toes! :) In the Herp community in the states, most of the uppity-ups argue constantly, and even worse, correct each other in mid-sentence...never really makes a difference to me if someone says Naja sputatrix with a hard "a" or a soft "a"...still means spitting cobra, right?
It is interesting how different geographic locations influence language...I mean, "you say pot-ato, I say pota-toe, lets call the whole thing off"...for a real good film about cultural differences, I heartily recommend "A Fish Called Wanda".
Sums it all up, right?
I love this kind of thing. Not realizing that the UK generally says /kef/alopods, Having grasped the wrong end of the stick, I was going to ask Colin if he preferred /z/. Sorry, Colin, it's just the lingering after effect of bad music from Zomerzet.