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Author Topic:   pronunciation
Lawrence Lupkin

From: Brooklyn, New York, USA

posted 09 May 2003 05:04 AM     profile     
What is the accepted pronunciation of "copedant"?
Joey Ace

From: Southern Ontario, Canada

posted 09 May 2003 05:09 AM     profile     
I use (and hear)
co (rymes with row)
pen (rymes with Ben)
dant (rymes with rant).

Lawrence Lupkin

From: Brooklyn, New York, USA

posted 09 May 2003 05:17 AM     profile     
actually, now that I think of it, I've seen it as "copedant" as well as "copedent." Which is correct? Or is as variable as it's meaning?
CrowBear Schmitt

From: Ariege, - PairO'knees, - France

posted 09 May 2003 06:01 AM     profile     
in Winnie Winston'sbook it is written as Copedant
like Harry Coe (stringbean in French)
Pee (swee pee)
Dent (like on your car)
Steel what?

[This message was edited by CrowBear Schmitt on 09 May 2003 at 06:47 AM.]

[This message was edited by CrowBear Schmitt on 09 May 2003 at 06:48 AM.]

Jim Smith

From: Plano, TX, USA

posted 09 May 2003 06:06 AM     profile     
pen (rymes with Ben)
There's no "pen" in copedant. The way I've always heard it pronounced is with the accent on the second syllable and "pe" pronounced with a long 'e'.

As I recall, Tom Bradshaw originally coined the word and should be the one to provide the correct pronunciation.

Joey Ace

From: Southern Ontario, Canada

posted 09 May 2003 06:43 AM     profile     
dat ain't da way I sez it, eh?

You're correct about Tom, he get's the final word. I'll ask him.

Jim West

From: Vista,CA

posted 09 May 2003 06:59 AM     profile     
It's pronounced copedant. There, I hope that settles it once and for all.
David L. Donald

From: Koh Samui Island, Thailand

posted 09 May 2003 07:38 AM     profile     
Tom Bradshaw told me he takes credit for coining the term.

He said it is Chord Pedal Arrangment.
Co Ped Ent, I would say.

In french it might be Coo Pa Dan ..
which might almost be obscene

but not co de pend ant
Your mileage may vary considerably.
I guess I should go peedal my bike awhile

[This message was edited by David L. Donald on 09 May 2003 at 07:45 AM.]

Larry Bell

From: Englewood, Florida

posted 09 May 2003 07:39 AM     profile     
It's an acronym for

The word is COPEDENT (not copedant, not copendent, not codependent)

And, as stated earlier, it's pronounced
(according to Bradshaw)

(AND, David, I's scary how great minds can run in the same gutter)
Larry Bell - email: - gigs - Home Page
2003 Fessenden S/D-12 8x8, 1969 Emmons S-12 6x6, 1971 Dobro, Standel and Peavey Amps

[This message was edited by Larry Bell on 09 May 2003 at 07:42 AM.]

David L. Donald

From: Koh Samui Island, Thailand

posted 09 May 2003 07:48 AM     profile     
Over hear they call'm " les gros tetes" LOL.
That translates literally to fatheads,
but means big minds. There's a bla, bla, bla, TV show called that here.
I also keep thinking of Our Distended Family.

[This message was edited by David L. Donald on 09 May 2003 at 07:49 AM.]

C Dixon

From: Duluth, GA USA

posted 09 May 2003 09:32 AM     profile     
Larry Bell,

1000% mega dittos.

In reading this post I am reminded of such pronunciations as:

1. Ernest Tubbs

2. Hal Ruggs

3. Miam "ah"

4. Cincinat "ah"

5. Missour "ah"

6. Illah "noise"

7. Demoinz

8. Spocaine

9. Hiwaryan

10. Grand OLD OPRAH

11. Satistics

12. Alooneemum

13. Git' TAR

14. Maysh the pedals

15. Julian Thorpe

16. Irregardless*

17. Whurr

18. Lovun

19. Cain't

20. Copendant

21. Copendent

22. Pacific (specific)

23. Uh HI ah (Ohio)

24. Leema (Lie mah, Ohio)

25. Chicargo

26. Dint, coont, shunt; or didant coodunt and shuudunt for didnt, couldnt and shouldnt.

27. "Tempered tuning" meaning Just Intonation.

28. Heighth (it IS Hite)

29. "an" for "a" such as "an" history file. THE most missused adjective of all in the media by seasoned news commentators; who should KNOW better.

30. Dale Mullen

as in:

31. Mullens

32. "you know" (when we do NOT know Reason being, he has said so many "you knows" he hasn't told us anything yet.

Have fun and God bless you all,


* No such word

[This message was edited by C Dixon on 09 May 2003 at 09:34 AM.]

Tom Bradshaw

From: Concord, California, USA

posted 09 May 2003 11:05 AM     profile     
Larry, you are quite right. I toyed with several acronyms before coming up with "co-pee-dent." Frankly, I didn't like this word, but everything else I coined seemed even worse. I do wish I had spelled it with bars above the o and e, signifying a long "o" and long "e" sound in its pronunciation. Not doing so led many to mispronounce the word, as is the case that appears to have prompted this Forum posting.

As I wrote many times about why I came up with this word, I simply got tired of using "set-up" to describe a player's basic tuning and the changes in that tuning when engaging pedals and knee levers. I wanted the pedal steel guitar to have nomenclature, by having identifying words and terms dedicated to it alone. Back then, as is now, "set-ups" are mixers sold by bartenders to customers who supplied their own alcohol if they wished to drink in bars in semi-dry States.

I should send this word to the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary. Perhaps it could become an official word in the English language, since it has become quite common in the lexicon of pedal steel players. …Tom

Lawrence Lupkin

From: Brooklyn, New York, USA

posted 09 May 2003 01:13 PM     profile     
I guess the word of authority has been spoken. Thanks for all the relpies!


Al Marcus

From: Cedar Springs,MI USA

posted 10 May 2003 06:26 PM     profile     
Ditto for me, Tom. I didn't like the word either.

But now you are famous for it and stuck with it. So there.

What is your "Pedal Setup"?

Chas Friedman

From: Wimberley, Texas, USA

posted 11 May 2003 05:21 AM     profile     
(You wrote: I toyed with several acronyms before coming up with "co-pee-dent." )
Some confusion may be due to the fact that in the Winston-Keith book, it is spelled "copedant". You seemed to say it is "copedent". Is that the case? (It certainly makes sense that way!)
PS After rereading Larry's post and your response again, I guess it definitely is
"copedent". Just wanted to be absolutely certain...

[This message was edited by Chas Friedman on 11 May 2003 at 06:49 AM.]

Tom Bradshaw

From: Concord, California, USA

posted 11 May 2003 09:23 AM     profile     
Chas: There was never an "a" in the spelling of copedent. Long before the Winston/Keith book was written, Winnie and I were friends. We often talked on the phone (he lived in Pennsylvania, I in California). As far back as the early '70s I had been using that word on the album jackets and in the newsletters of my old Steel Guitar Record Club. All I can say is that it was misspelled. I observed that when I read his book, but it was too late; the book was printed.

Al, you old friend and out-of-work commedian, here is my "set-up":

Basic tuning: On the Rocks
A Pedal: With tonic water
B Pedal: Dash of vermouth
C Pedal: Juice of one lime
D Lever: Water back
E Lever: Ginger ale
F Lever: Drop of grenadine
G Lever: Club soda
V (vertical): Dash of pernod

Strain and stir 3 hours a day to become an killer player.

Epilog: Jeff Newman is the person who gave the alphabetical designations to the pedals and knee levers. I came up with the LKL, RKR, etc. for the knee lever directions, because my typewriter didn't have a key for the arrows that were being used to show the travel directions and placements of the knee levers of everyone's "set-ups." …Tom

Stephen Gregory


posted 11 May 2003 11:36 AM     profile     
Correct pronunciation, Set-up.
W Franco

From: silverdale,WA. USA

posted 11 May 2003 11:54 AM     profile     
The noises in my head just keep getting louder!
Chas Friedman

From: Wimberley, Texas, USA

posted 11 May 2003 01:08 PM     profile     
Thanks for the reply!
Steve Frost

From: Scarborough,Maine

posted 11 May 2003 05:34 PM     profile     
Tom- with all due respect, that pronunciation makes so little sense that I can't bring myself to utter it. If it's a made-up word, why not keep it internally consistent? Lack of parallel structure is one of my pet pevs....
John Cadeau

From: Surrey,B.C. Canada

posted 11 May 2003 06:06 PM     profile     
Ya does a pretty nice job of doin' a Newfie accent eh.
Tom Bradshaw

From: Concord, California, USA

posted 12 May 2003 11:28 AM     profile     
Hi Greg: No problem with calling you basic tuning and all the pedals and knee lever changes a "set-up" or anything else you choose to. I never tried to force the word on anyone.

Hi Steve: No problem in not uttering the word. It has been said that the ugliest word every coined was "mange." I suspect that if a rose were called mange, it would smell just as sweet. Ooops. I'm mixing metaphors of the bard.

Is any of this is all that important? I think it is time that everyone just sat down behind their steels and played whatever "set-up" is on it until the music was sweeter than any batch of coined words could ever describe. :-) ...Tom

Lawrence Lupkin

From: Brooklyn, New York, USA

posted 12 May 2003 11:50 AM     profile     
Hey, I just didn't want to sound dumb if it ever came up in conversation. Wouldn't want to make some dinner party faux pas by saying it wrong. You know how often these things come up.

[This message was edited by Lawrence Lupkin on 12 May 2003 at 11:51 AM.]

Bruce Derr

From: Lee, New Hampshire, USA

posted 12 May 2003 01:31 PM     profile     
I submitted the word to Says You, that word game show on public radio, for use in one of their bluffing rounds (which are like the game "fictionary"; one team mixes the real definition of an obscure word in with two fake ones, and the other team has to guess which is the correct definition.)

It would be interesting to hear what fake definitions they come up with.

Gary Ball

From: Lapwai, Idaho, USA

posted 12 May 2003 05:56 PM     profile     
Co'pah dent.

Is that it Tom?

Donny Hinson

From: Balto., Md. U.S.A.

posted 13 May 2003 09:26 AM     profile     
I still prefer to use the term "setup". I think it's easier to understand and more widely accepted. (It also avoids the mispronounciations, misspellings, and ignorance of the term "copedant".
Jim Cohen

From: Philadelphia, PA

posted 13 May 2003 09:29 AM     profile     
Sounds too much lilke "codependant" to me (but that might just be a personal problem... )
Tom Bradshaw

From: Concord, California, USA

posted 13 May 2003 09:30 AM     profile     
This subject has become tiring here on the Forum, but following my last post I continued to reflect on the subject and felt the following information might be of interest to those reading this thread. I remembered that back in the '60s I became a big fan of Paul Graupp (a current Forum member). Paul was the first professional writer of steel-related topics (in Fretts magazine). We developed a friendship and corresponded frequently during and up to the time the magazine folded. In the late '70s, Paul assembled all those articles and I published and sold them through my mail-order business.

Yesterday I e-mailed Paul, picking his brain about the discussion here. Paul remembered that it wasn't until well into the '70s that "set-up" became a word to describe steel players' tuning and pedal arrangement. In his writings in the '60s he always used the words, "tuning chart" when talking about a player's basic tuning and the pedals that altered that tuning. And incidentally, knee levers were rarely a topic of discussion in the '60s. In my early writings I always used the phrase "tuning and pedal arrangement" to refer to a person's "set-up." It was in 1969 that I coined the copedent word, but initially spelled it "chopedent." The "h" was from the first three letters of the word, chord. Obviously, including "h" made the word's pronunciation even more difficult, so I quickly dropped that letter from its spelling after first printing it in a four-tune instructional course I published that year. Thereafter, I used the word in a 1971 reprint of my booklet, "Chord Construction For the Pedal Steel Guitarist" (originally published in 1964), in my "Anatomy of the Steel Guitar" (about 1972), in my columns for Guitar Player magazine, in articles I wrote for steel guitar club newsletters and, on the covers of albums in my old Steel Guitar Record Club and in the newsletters of my Cassette Club. Throughout that time I also saw the word pop up in various publications (including Winnie's book).

Paul remembers being intrigued by my coining of it, but viewed its importance as I did: a term dedicated exclusively to the pedal steel guitar; a word that could not be mistaken for anything other than describing something about this instrument. That was my sole purpose in making it up. …Tom

[This message was edited by Tom Bradshaw on 13 May 2003 at 09:32 AM.]

Jim Phelps

From: just out of Mexico City

posted 13 May 2003 09:48 AM     profile     
OK, but what about knee-levers? Should "lever" be pronounced lever with a short "e" rhyming with "ever", or a long e rhyming with "beaver", or "cleaver", or "Beaver Cleaver", or "neither"? Wait, "neither" can be with an "e" sound or an "i" sound....I give up!

PS: Should it be "knee lever", or "knee-lever"?

OK, I'll shuttup now!

[This message was edited by Jim Phelps on 13 May 2003 at 10:01 AM.]

Paul Graupp

From: Macon Ga USA

posted 13 May 2003 01:13 PM     profile     

a Beaver Cleaver Leaver !!

Stop ! My sides are beginning to hurt !!

Tom: Always the best of friends and a nice
person to boot ! Who could want more ??

ME !!

Regards, Paul

John Drury

From: Gallatin, Tn USA

posted 01 January 2004 05:39 PM     profile     
I don't use the word but I think it is cool that somebody would take the time to come up with a word describing the way my instrument of choice does its thing. Not a whole lot of people more dedicated to steel guitar than Tom Bradshaw.

BTW here is one that really p!$$e$ me off and I hear a lot of guys use it - "knee pedal".

I am not a proponent of "mashing " pedals either.

Why do pedals go:A, B, C, Franklin, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc.?

I think the use of letters in reference to knee levers should be discontinued without ceremony.


Happy New Year all,

John Drury

James Quackenbush

From: Pomona, New York, USA

posted 01 January 2004 06:07 PM     profile     
I happen to really like the word copedent..Like you said earlier, it's the only word that pretains to pedal steel only !!..Chord Charts, Setups, and the like can be used a few different ways meaning something completely different ..Copedent it is in my book of Pedalogy and Steelastics !!....Jim
David Doggett

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 01 January 2004 08:12 PM     profile     
"Copedent" has precision and class. "Setup" can refer to string height and spacing, pedal feel adjustments, etc. But with all due respect to Tom, we don't call them "peedals," so the first e should be short. Pronounced that way, it is a nice, serious sounding word that would be good to use around other musicians, especially music school types. But with another steeler, "setup" works fine, and "copedent" sounds a little pretentious.

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