Why do most characters in Star Trek pronounce sensors as senSORs with a heavy emphasis on the second syllable?

In most American accents you would say "sensers" with more of an emphasis on the first syllable. I imagine most in British accents one would say "sensuzz".

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    I don't think it's a matter of emphasis so much as of vowel. The emphasis is still on the first syllable; it's just that the second syllable is a genuine O sound instead of a schwa. – Micah Jan 26 '16 at 2:42
  • (Also, this reddit thread seems to suggest that it's a combination of Leonard Nimoy overcompensating for his Boston accent and maybe Patrick Stewart being theatrical, but with no real backing...) – Micah Jan 26 '16 at 2:43
  • In-universe, this could simply be attributed to the development of the english language, see this article... vocabulary.com/lists/432678#view=notes – Ghost Koi Jan 26 '16 at 3:08
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    This seems like a local thing, because I personally would pronounce it with the "or" ending. Maybe not a heavy emphasis on the second syllable, but definitely there. To-mā-to/To-mă-to? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 26 '16 at 3:31
  • Most Scots would pronounce it with equal stress on the two syllables. – user23614 Jan 26 '16 at 9:10

Given that Nimoy was the first in the franchise to do it, and that it's an unusual pronunciation, it's safe to say that everyone else does so in his memory. So why did he do it?

Maybe it was (compensating for) his Boston accent, as some faceless netizens have speculated:

He's from Boston, and that's one thick accent they have. Might be residual and subconscious on his part.

I thought Nimoy said sensors that way because his Boston accent was too resilient and he couldn't not say "sensahs"?

In-universe, Spock is an alien and a very methodical speaker (traits that are also easily recognized in the other main culprits, Worf and Tuvok). The script for The Cage says when he's introduced:

He speaks with the almost British accent of one who has learned the language in textbooks.

Indeed, in The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations (pp. 220-221), Charles Harrington Elster says that "SEN-sor" is an example of overpronunciation, which is a tendency of Spock's that has filtered into American speaking habits as what Elster calls "sci-fi pronunciation" or "Hollywood Hyperspeak."

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