Sunday, April 02, 2006


GHOTI* (pronounced as “fish”)

A week or may be two weeks ago watched another good BBC program “Imagination” …this time on the great Norwegian painter edvard munch and especially his iconic ‘the scream’. A little thing that surprised me… a bit … is how his name is pronounced - as ‘monk’ - but at least one English tv announcer refers to him - as I always tought- as “munch”…

And this is always a problem with me….spellings quite often don’t indicate the correct pronunciation …of people’s names especially…most people will never get the right pronunciation of say, ‘gauguin’ unless you’ve heard someone said it correctly before…but that’s French you say…and may be understandable… I never know for example that the islamophobic bastard houllebecq is rightly pronounced as ‘wellbeck’ until someone mentioned it so…not that I care very much about this writer…

But English spellings too can be quite illogical…and sometimes can give disastrous results such as what happened to dan quayle many years ago when he couldn’t spell ‘potato’ correctly and effectively killed his race for us presidency …the funny thing is the poor bugger was no worse than any other fools who have become American presidents since …English spellings can be murder to some and not just to people who are dyslexic…There was one advert in TIME magazine a very long time ago- which I couln’t remember what it was all about- except that it mentioned that English spelling can be so confusing that “fish” can be logically spelt as G-H-O-T-I. Here’s another gem… “PEKTOPAH” is pronounced as ‘restaurant’ in Russian…at least that’s what my lonely planet says….

GH = F (as in enough)
O = I (as in women)
TI =SH (as in station)

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