Via frequent commenter (and recent visitor) Kattullus, this BBC News article: “Should it be Burma or Myanmar?” They point out (as I always find myself doing) that Myanmar is the name imposed by the junta and Burma is preferred by democracy activists like Aung San Suu Kyi, and say:
It’s general practice at the BBC to refer to the country as Burma, and the BBC News website says this is because most of its audience is familiar with that name rather than Myanmar. The same goes for Rangoon, people in general are more familiar with this name than Yangon.
Which is eminently sensible, and my practice as well; I will never understand why so many people are so eager to fall in line with the “official” nomenclature. Anyway, there’s some interesting background on the two names, with this quote from “anthropologist Gustaaf Houtman, who has written extensively about Burmese politics”: “There’s a formal term which is Myanmar and the informal, everyday term which is Burma. Myanmar is the literary form, which is ceremonial and official and reeks of government.”
Also, I got word from Grant Barrett that A Way With Words is back. Congratulations, Martha and Grant!