August 22, 2006
I’m a big fan of The Editors – the blogs of the BBC‘s editorial staff. My current favourite is the pronounciation unit’s daily lessons in how to pronounce foreign names properly. (That’s pruh-nun-see-AY-shuhn to me and you). Today, for instance, I learned how the BBC pronounces Halkidiki. (The pronunciation is hal-kee-dhi-KEE (-dh as in “this”). if you are interested). And there’s even a pdf download on phoenetic spelling a la BBC. Now why on earth am I blogging about this today? Well I’m in a war with the spell checker on my computer which insists on reverting to US English even though I have no need for US English. I will happily speak and pronounce US English when I am in the US, the rest of the time I want Ireland English or UK English as a back up, but my computer refuses to co-operate, particularly if I receive a document from someone else who doesn’t care what kind of English they use so long as it’s legible.
I think I need a section on rants and raves because I’m getting fed up with the creeping standardisation (standardization?) of US English as the default on this side of the pond. It’s bad enough having to negotiate email written in text message English (why? oh why?) but add in US English in documents and I’m beginning to think I don’t live at home any more. Is it just me who cares? I know this is a small thing to some people but it’s stuff like this that I find really disorientating…What was normal isn’t any more and while I know I’m vying for Victoria Meldrew status here, it matters – it really does, and I’m not even one of the punctuation police who rant about apostrophes.
I obviously have not enough to do with my time I hear you chime.