Monday, January 09, 2006

WHAT's in a name?

All the news coverage about Ming the Merciless and his role in Charles Kennedy's downfall made me thing about other examples of the truly pathological spelling of names we have in English. As well as Menzies, pronounced ming-iss (it is actually Scottish, but never mind), we have:

  • Featherstonehaugh (fan-shaw)
  • Cholmondeley (chum-ly)
  • Beaulieu
None of these is pronounced anywhere near the way it's written. And lest we celts get too smug, consider:
  • Kirkcudbright
  • Boho (Bo)
  • Boa Island (also Bo)
We're all mad!

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