EURO OR EVRO?

Every time I try taking the EU seriously some piece of nonsense like this comes up to derail the effort. A BBC News story says:

The European Union and Bulgaria are at odds over how to spell the word euro.
The problem lies with Bulgaria’s Cyrillic alphabet, under which the common European currency is spelt “evro” rather than euro.
The row threatens to scupper the signing of an EU accord with Balkan state Montenegro, officials say.
Bulgarian diplomats said they could only sign the document if euro is spelt correctly in the Bulgarian version of the agreement…

“This is part of our national identity. We brought the third alphabet into the European Union and it’s a matter of respect for linguistic diversity,” the Bulgarian spokeswoman said.
Bulgaria is the only EU member to widely use the Cyrillic alphabet but it is used in Balkan countries that are lining up to join the EU.
According to the Brussels-based EU Observer website, other countries where the euro is pronounced differently, including Slovenia, have tried to obtain a different spelling of the common currency. However, they have all failed except for Greece.
Unlike Slovenia which uses the Latin alphabet, Greece had put forward its different alphabet as an argument – something the Bulgarians are trying to do as well, the EU Observer said.
The European Central Bank insists that the name of the common currency must be the same in all the official languages of the EU although the existence of different alphabets should be taken into account.

What does “taken into account” mean if not “let them use their own goddam alphabet”? What the hell is wrong with bureaucrats? “Sorry, the Greeks get to write ‘evro’ in their alphabet but you don’t get to in yours, because, well, they’re Greeks and you’re Bulgarians.” (Thanks for the link, Ben!)

Comments

  1. I can’t say I understand it. Presumably they’re just talking about the documents, not the Euro notes, themselves?
    The only one I know to use the Danish alphabet is Egoland, who uses a lot of pronunciation spellings. “Ævro”, I think, but I believe we use at least three different pronuciations in Danish at the moment.

  2. I believe the EU’s argument is that “euro” is akin to a trademark which is why the word can only be transliterated and not translated. It’s still bloody silly, though.

  3. Well, they’ll have a problem bringing in other Cyrillic-using countries. They all spell it with a V, just like they spell Europe with one.

  4. michael farris says:

    “Bulgaria’s Cyrillic alphabet, under which the common European currency is spelt “evro” rather than euro.”
    That’s funny, I thought it was spelled EBPO (at least in all caps)
    How do the eurocrats want Euro spelled in Bulgarian? еуро? Or do they want the bulgarians to switch to latin to write the name of the currency?
    This is honestly one of the stupidest language issues I’ve yet come across.

  5. I remember hearing stories about this issue over a year ago – it’s bizarre that it’s still unresolved.

  6. If Israel joins, will it be the עברו?

  7. This is also a nice one in the series of stupid language issues. The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra got fined because of using obsolete Latvian letters on a poster:
    http://latviansonline.com/index.php/news/article/3302/

  8. bertil-
    That article on the Latvian symphony confused me. I’m a native Latvian speaker (in the diaspora, which they are specifically referring to there as a group which would use the old spellings), and I have never seen “ō” used (unless it is in Letgalian, but that’s Letgalian, not Latvian). I see “ŗ” used occasionally, but rarely. But I haven’t seen “ō”, not in old writing, not in new writing, so that leaves me thoroughly confused.
    But beyond that, more on topic to this post – Latvia’s conflicted with the EU on the topic of the spelling of the euro as well. In Latvian, it would be “eiro”, because Europe is “Eiropa”. As the article I mention below says, the “eu” dipthong isn’t a dipthong in Latvian, and is quite an unfamiliar sound.
    This is a BBC article on eiro/euro:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4578806.stm

  9. John Emerson says:

    This is honestly one of the stupidest language issues I’ve yet come across.
    Wisely he qualifies his statement.
    The impression I got from a semi-official Greek government publication is that the Greeks are batshit crazy about national issues. Fortunately they didn’t have to go to war over the evro.

  10. On the notes, it says ‘EURO’ and ‘EYPO’, which I assume is the Greek spelling of the name. If the Greeks get their spelling, then I can’t blame the Bulgarians for feeling a right to have their spelling.

  11. I find the article as written to be incoherent, to the point that I can’t tell what the fuss is about.
    In the second paragraph, it says that “euro” is spelt “evro”. This is patent nonsense: the only thing they could mean is that it’s spelled EBRO (in mock Cyrillic). Then they say that the problem has to do with Montenegro joining? Why is that relevant? Does Montenegro want to spell it EYPO?
    The issue itself is blinkered, but so is the news story.

  12. Hmmm. If that’s the way the Greeks spell it, then I’m going to assume the problem is that the Bulgarians have a U (У) they could use, like the Greeks, but are using a V (В). That’s not quite so clear-cut as it first seemed.

  13. Every time I try taking the BBC seriously some piece of nonsense like this comes up to derail the effort…

  14. Here is the actual text of the Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union from the Official Journal and all related legislation in Bulgarian. As you will find in, say, Protocol concerning the conditions and arrangements for admission of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union (p. 29), Part Four, Title III, article 25, euro is spellt евро in Bulgarian.
    The article is only slightly confusing: the problem is that the Bulgarian translation of the document in question, i.e. the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Montenegro, does not translate “euro” as “евро”, which apparently the Bulgarian delegation considers the only valid one, but uses some other term (I can’t seem to find the text of the SAA, so I don’t know which one). The Bulgarian delegation refuses to sign the aforementioned SAA in its current wording, arguing that the spelling used in the accession treaties should be used throughout. So I guess the only ones to blame for any and all resulting broohaha are the Bulgarian delegation and the EU translator division who apparently didn’t get the ECB’s memo.
    Oh and hat, seriously, this bullshit story is all it takes to make you to cease taking the EU seriously (whatever that means)? I thought this was languagehat.com, the shining beacon of enlightement and knowledge in the barbaric wastelands of the intertubes, not LGF or Gates of Vienna…

  15. BTW, for how the Maltese dealt with the issue and some more information on the name “euro”, check out this helpful document (pdf).
    If I recall correctly, in the end it was decided that the term “euro” would be used in all translations of official EU documents, while “ewro” would be used elswehere in Maltese.

  16. The Wikipedia article on the Euro contains a list of the names of the corresponding article in each language’s Wikipedia:
    [[af:Euro]]
    [[am:ዩሮ]]
    [[ar:يورو]]
    [[an:Euro]]
    [[frp:Erô]]
    [[ast:Euro]]
    [[az:Avro]]
    [[bn:ইউরো]]
    [[zh-min-nan:Euro]]
    [[be:Еўра]]
    [[be-x-old:Еўра]]
    [[bar:Euro]]
    [[bs:Euro]]
    [[bg:Евро]]
    [[ca:Euro]]
    [[cv:Евро]]
    [[cs:Euro]]
    [[cy:Ewro]]
    [[da:Euro]]
    [[de:Euro]]
    [[et:Euro]]
    [[el:Ευρώ]]
    [[es:Euro]]
    [[eo:Eŭro]]
    [[eu:Euro]]
    [[fa:یورو]]
    [[fo:Euro]]
    [[fr:Euro]]
    [[fy:Euro]]
    [[fur:Euro]]
    [[ga:Euro]]
    [[gv:Euro]]
    [[gd:Euro]]
    [[gl:Euro]]
    [[ko:유로]]
    [[hy:Եւրօ]]
    [[hi:यूरो]]
    [[hr:Euro]]
    [[io:Euro]]
    [[id:Euro]]
    [[ia:Euro]]
    [[is:Evra]]
    [[it:Euro]]
    [[he:אירו]]
    [[ka:ევრო]]
    [[kw:Euro]]
    [[sw:Euro]]
    [[ku:Euro]]
    [[la:Euro]]
    [[lv:EUR]]
    [[lb:Euro]]
    [[lt:Euras]]
    [[li:Euro]]
    [[hu:Euró]]
    [[mk:Евро]]
    [[mt:Ewro]]
    [[mr:युरो]]
    [[ms:Euro]]
    [[nl:Euro]]
    [[ja:ユーロ]]
    [[no:Euro]]
    [[nn:Euro]]
    [[nrm:Étchu]]
    [[oc:Èuro]]
    [[pms:Euro]]
    [[nds:Euro]]
    [[pl:Euro]]
    [[pt:Euro]]
    [[ro:Euro]]
    [[ru:Евро]]
    [[se:Euro]]
    [[st:Euro]]
    [[sq:Euro]]
    [[ru-sib:Евро]]
    [[scn:Euru]]
    [[simple:Euro]]
    [[sk:Euro]]
    [[sl:Evro]]
    [[sr:Евро]]
    [[sh:Euro]]
    [[fi:Euro]]
    [[sv:Euro]]
    [[tl:Euro]]
    [[ta:ஐரோ]]
    [[th:ยูโร]]
    [[vi:Euro]]
    [[tg:Евро]]
    [[tr:Avro]]
    [[uk:Євро]]
    [[vec:Euro]]
    [[fiu-vro:Õuro]]
    [[yi:יורא]]
    [[zh-yue:歐元]]
    [[bat-smg:Eurs]]
    [[zh:欧元]]

  17. @caffeind: That would be hilarious and confusing. Currently, Hebrew texts call it אירו (“Eiro”, short for אירופה “Eiropa”), and I don’t see any real reason that would change; granted, it doesn’t mimic the Latin spelling, but the Hebrew alphabet isn’t really set up for that. Also granted, it doesn’t mimic the English pronunciation, but I don’t think the EU specifies what pronunciation is to be used, so . . .

  18. JS Bangs, that’s a new use of “blinkered” to me. I’m used to it being applied to a person with a narrow view of things, like a racehorse with blinkers or blinders. By extension I can see how it would describe an article written by such a person (or horse). But what is a blinkered issue? Now I’ll be googling different uses of “blinkered” all night.

  19. And Ireland calls it the Eireo.

  20. Although Michael Everson, who is on the warpath against the Irish Government for trying to make the Irish use “euro” as the plural of “euro”, thinks that the correct Irish spelling is “éoro”.
    If I make any sense out of this Bulgarian and Macedonian story at all, they are worried that they may end up with more than one Cyrillic transliteration. With Latin, they could ram the single spelling down everyone’s throats; with Greek, there was only one language to deal with.
    And I doubt that a country which is entirely on the mainland of Asia will become a member of the European Union any time soon, still less the Eurozone.

  21. This is honestly one of the stupidest language issues I’ve yet come across.
    Michael, here is another one that you might find even stupider: in 1998 we had a new series of banknotes in Mauritius. When they were released some vociferous Tamil activists were mad at the government because of the three languages appearing on the banknotes Tamil had been put in third position, after Hindi, while it used to be the other way round. The whole lot was scrapped and new banknotes were printed, with the “right” order from top to bottom: 1/ English; 2/ Tamil; 3/ Hindi. If I’m not wrong this “stupid language issue” cost us 53 millions.

  22. This all reminds me of the initial fuss in font design circles when the EU tried to impose the exact same glyph design for the euro sign in all fonts and typefaces. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_sign )
    Being the stubborn bunch that they are, they simply ignored the commission’s decision en went on to create their own versions.

  23. […] Michael Everson, who is on the warpath against the Irish Government for trying to make the Irish use “euro” as the plural of “euro”, […].

    It should be noted that this a fait accompli—the normal plural of “euro” in the Republic is “euro”—and was, pretty much, when Everson took out the war drums.

  24. As to the semitic names, I can point out an intersting fact:
    Hebrew used to call it יורו, phonetically /yuro/, probably in imitation of English, the lingua franca. The Hebrew language academy made successful efforts to usher in אירו, phonetically /eiro/, so it would sound as the beginning of /eiropa/, Europe.
    I noticed that Arabic and Farsi have not followed suit: Phonetic /yuro/ is used in both, while the continent is spelled and pronounced differentely: /uruba/ and /urupa/, respectively.
    What English dominance does to things…

  25. Yeah, Farsi isn’t semitic. sorry.

  26. “I don’t think the EU specifies what pronunciation is to be used”: you bet! In German it’s pronounced OYro of course.

  27. mollymooly says:

    See this wikipedia article.
    And Ireland calls it the Eireo.
    I should point out for those who may have missed it that this was a joke, and I don’t blame you for missing it.

  28. Aidan:
    Well, yer a bunch of eejits then, and all too easily led around by the nose. Everywhere else in Anglophonia it’s “euros”, as common sense and right reason proclaims. And of course “cents” as well: there may be some excuse for “euro” as not being an established word, but how the devil do you automatically flip back and forth between “30 cent” of Irish money vs. “30 cents” of U.S., Canadian, or Australian money in the same context? It would drive me, as we say over here, bananas.
    (Firefox’s spelling checker doesn’t believe in either “euro” or “euros”. I have just filed a bug.)

  29. michael farris says:

    According to the wikipedia article, the EU apparently wants to tell Bulgarians how to spell Euro in their own language. That is they want them to use еуро instead of евро. But in Cyrillic IMHO (as a non-native only very occasional user) евро is the better spelling.
    I actually can understand wanting a uniform spelling per script (Latin, Greek, Cyrillic) for use in official EU documents. In that case treat it as a proper name or Coca Cola or whatever.
    And how people write the word (or pronounce it) in other contexts is nobody’s business but their own.
    So yes I would say that in EU documents Euro be used in Latvian, Maltese and Slovenian (as if anyone read most EU documents) and they can use Eiro, Ewro and Evro in all other contexts including official national ones.

  30. michael,
    so you’re basically going with the Maltese approach which sounds pretty reasonable to me.
    But in Cyrillic IMHO (as a non-native only very occasional user) евро is the better spelling
    Certainly, after all, it’s Европа, not Еуропа, same as in Maltese Ewropa, Parlament Ewropew and not Europa and Parlament Europew.
    What cracks me up is that in this particular fight, the Bulgarians may have already won: their translation of the Accession Treaty trumps/should trump anything else. It’s gonna be fun to watch how this ends.

  31. John, get back to us on currency idiocy when a dime coin actually indicates how much it’s worth. And “one <unanalysable morpheme>” doesn’t count.

  32. I wonder how Hebrew decided on /eiropa/ for Europe. It’s not following English or German or Russian. Is it following Yiddish or French or an independent decision?

  33. caffeind,
    it’s אייראָפּע in Yiddish, so probably that plus some tweaking to make it look more Semitic.

  34. >I doubt that a country which is entirely on the mainland of Asia will become a member of the European Union
    Hasn’t stopped people from talking about it, though…

  35. Ooh! John Cowan invoked “common sense and right reason”! Can you believe the impudence of the Irish- allowing a tiny difference between their variety of English and some other varieties? I don’t know; soon they’ll be wanting their own republic….
    (Seriously, how hard is it to “flip back and forth” between slightly different plurals of currency names?)

  36. Idly, could anyone tell me what the Turkish pronunciation and spellings are?
    Personally, I’d much rather have Turkey in the EU. If for no other reason than “keep your friends closer, but your enemies closer”.
    But Turkey in all honesty does not make as angry and frustrated as Poland on a regular basis. And I think it’s shameful how the bar keeps getting raised for Turkey to be allowed to even begin talks. Stark raving mad in my opinion.
    Sorry, enough politics …

  37. Personally, I’d much rather have Turkey in the EU.
    Not until they clean up their act. Unlike some people, I have absolutely no problem with admitting a Muslim country, but Turkey is way too messed up to join. If you don’t believe me, I got one word for you: Kurds. And I’m not comfortable with the way the Turkish army meddles in politics, either.
    And it’s spelt “Euro” in Turkish, too, sometimes with capital E, sometimes not.
    By the way, why not let Israel join? Asia-shmasia, the Mediterranean connects rather than divides. I’m actually looking forward to the day the twelve stars fly over Jerusalem, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis and even Tripoli.

  38. “Euros” is not the normal plural everywhere in Anglophonia. Even though I attended a mainly-white suburban high school outside of Philadelphia, the African American Vernacular English tendency to not pluralize nouns for money (e.g. the celebrity 50 Cent) had become a normal part of our speech. As a result, when the euro arrived I had no problem saying “5 euro”. With American rap music being globally popular and people aping its stylings everywhere, AAVE forms could easily spread further.

  39. Thank you, bulbul.
    Yes, of course they should clean up their act, but that same thing could be said for Israel …
    Also, as it stands, Israel seems to be happy with it’s ‘special relationship’ with the US. And we know just how must that same deal has benefitted the UK in their relations to the EU.
    I’d have argued that being more welcoming towards Turkey would prolly be the more effective way of making them ‘clean up their act’. But now that I think about it, Poland is doing their best show me wrong on that count.
    Oh – is it prounounced /ju:ro/ or /øvro/-/œjro/-&c?

  40. mollymooly says:

    FWIW, I usually use “euros” as a plural in generic sense (“what’s that in euros?”) and for the physical tokens (“a pile of euros on the table”) but “euro” for quantified amounts (“it cost ten euro”). Similarly for cent(s).
    Re Curtis James Jackson III: Bart Simpson called him “fiddy cent” but in Ireland he’s always “fifty cent”.

  41. And in French its cinq euro, vingt euro, i.e. never plural.

  42. Sili,
    you are perfectly right regarding Israel’s/UK’s special relationship with the US.
    Come to think of it, you might be right about the improved chances of Turkey cleaning up their act once they are a member of the EU. I think it kinda helped us (Slovakia) – I think – and most of our neighbors. As for Poland, I am unsure as to what you mean, could you please clarify?
    I talked to a Turkish friend of my who says he pronounces ‘euro’ as ‘öro’. Which is weird, considering Europe is ‘Avropa’…

  43. Thank you, bulbul. I feel a bit cleverer now.
    ‘öro’ is sorta understandable, if your friend speaks friends. Myself, I only speak Danish and English, but I know enough French phonology to pronounce it fairly well, so French has become my first choice for pronouncing words I’m unfamiliar way.
    My gripe with Poland is their increasing reactionary politics. The I-can’t-remember-their-name twins are uncomfortably nationalistic. They use strong anti-EU rhetoric at home, and at the same time keep demanding greater and greater influence in the EU. It seems that whenever they’re granted a preference they expect to get another ten too – give the Devil an inch …
    What really disturbs me is their interior claims that they want to reïntroduce capital punishment, and that it should be of no concern to EU, whether they want this or not. Recently the EU was unable to participate in the Anti-Death Penalty Day, because Poland vetoed it. I find that incredibly hypocritical since abolishing capital punishment is – rightly – on of the demands Turkey had already met.
    Secondly, I’m exasperated at the intrusion of Catholic doctrine in their politics. In the sixties and early seventies Danish women went to communist Poland to have abortions performed. Now that traffic has reversed because Poland has outlawed abortion much like Ireland and Portugal.
    I hope that clears up my passive-aggressiveness. My apologies to our esteemed host for going off like this on his blog.

  44. Sili, Catholic doctrine is part of Polish law because the electorate desires it be that way.

  45. As for the easy adaptation of the Irish (of which I am one) to ‘euro’ as both singular and plural, perhaps it’s partly because it’s been common use in the vernacular for a long time: phrases such as ‘That’ll be five pound’, ‘The fence was two foot high’, “I weigh eleven stone” were/are absolutely common whenever a unit of measurement is used. Curiously, only for the major ones (e.g., ‘two pence’, not ‘two penny’; ‘four ounces’, not ‘four ounce’; ‘five inches’, not ‘five inch’).
    But you get the idea: there’s some precedent, so it’s not hard to extend by analogy. Not an exclusively Irish phenomenon, by any means, but common there.

  46. Well, since decimalisation, the subdivision of pound is pence anyway AFAIK (at least in the UK, so 1p is one pence instead of one penny, unless you are talking about penny coins, which will have the regular plural of pennies).
    On euro in Firefox spell-checker: it advises to use Euro. By the way, Firefox is not in the official spell-checking dictionaries as well.
    At least there is no European country using Chinese as their official language… 🙂 Otherwise, there might be a row on transcribing various EU terms.

  47. I thought the British invariably said one pee, fifty pee, etc.
    I suspect the Olympics or other international sports events as a prestige source of “Team X” instead of “X Team”, and also perhaps of this invariant plural, by analogy to phrases like “100 meter race” etc.

  48. Catholic doctrine is part of Polish law because the electorate desires it be that way.
    Majoritarianism is not the only way to run a democracy, of course. Although given the startlingly low turnouts that characterise Polish elections, “majoritarian” is hardly the appropriate term.
    Oh, and the Dutch press
    is reporting
    that the nomenclature storm in Bulgaria’s treaty tea-cup is resolved, so persons in hats or otherwise are at liberty to resume their attempts to take the EU seriously.

  49. I may have spoken too soon:

    In the Bulgarian version of the SAA, the word “euro” will not be mentioned and will be replaced by the currency’s abbreviation EUR, sidestepping the issue of how the European currency should be transcribed in Bulgarian.
    The European Central Bank (ECB) wants the euro to be spelled as “euro” (еуро) in Cyrillic instead of “evro” (евро), which is how it is normally transcribed in the EU’s third alphabet.
    Sofia refuses and said last week it would not sign the Montenegro agreement – which has to be agreed by all member states – if the problem in the Bulgarian translation of the contract was not solved.
    The compromise solution postpones the “evro” row – but does not solve it.

  50. “Sorry, the Greeks get to write ‘evro’ in their alphabet but you don’t get to in yours, because, well, they’re Greeks and you’re Bulgarians.”
    A key difference between the Greek situation and the Bulgarian situation (which you would never guess from the report) is that Greece was already in the EU when the plans for the single currency were being drawn up and so was a full party to that process. Not so the Bulgarians who only joined this year.
    The issue as to the spelling of the currency in Bulgarian and other languages has been around for some time now. The Bulgarians have suggested what seems an elegant way around it. workinglanguages.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_archive.html

  51. Mr Brown, now PM, was much mocked for saying “one pence”. In truth, everyone does say “p”. Pity they don’t say “Eurine” as a cod-plural.

  52. caffined and dearieme:
    I meant in legal terms (and the one printed on the coins) of course: everyone says pee in real life.

  53. cm: The Greeks write ευρώ anyway: they didn’t use v, they pronounce ευ /ev/ only.

  54. michael farris says:

    The point is the Greeks got to choose how to write it in their own script (including the final omega instead of the more euro-harmonized ευρό, which was presumably also an option they chose not to take.
    This is a basic freedome that anal retentive petty tyrants at the ECB wish to deny the Bulgarians. Especially since the ECB proposal is objectively worse than the Bulgarian option: It is natural in exactly _none_ of the Slavic languages which use Cyrillic while the Bulgarian usage of в instead of у is the first choice in all but Belarussian (AFAIK).

  55. michael farris says:

    The point is the Greeks got to choose how to write it in their own script (including the final omega instead of the more euro-harmonized ευρό, which was presumably also an option they chose not to take.
    This is a basic freedome that anal retentive petty tyrants at the ECB wish to deny the Bulgarians. Especially since the ECB proposal is objectively worse than the Bulgarian option: It is natural in exactly _none_ of the Slavic languages which use Cyrillic while the Bulgarian usage of в instead of у is the first choice in all but Belarussian (AFAIK).

  56. If the problem is not spending too much real estate on the Euro notes on writing the name in various languages, let’s come up with some clever solution for compressing them.

  57. caffeind: there is one solution, simply use the Euro sign and nothing else! That would be a) script neutral b) space-saving. I wonder why they didn’t do that for Euro coins.
    michael farris is right: I ignored the fact that using Omega instead of Omicron is already an actively choice within the language.
    I guess, we might just call it евро and leave it there. The other alternative еуро might be wrong in Belarussian: they might prefer a ў (cf Esperanto ŭ) instead of у. Let me check: oh yes, Еўропа (or even Эўропа) for Europe in Belarussian.

  58. 28481k:
    >>>The Greeks write ευρώ anyway: they didn’t use v, they pronounce ευ /ev/ only>>>
    Sure. Note I was quoting the original languagehat post.
    >>>there is one solution, simply use the Euro sign and nothing else!>>>
    That is something the Bulgarians have been proposing all along (see link in my previous comment: workinglanguages.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_archive.html).
    Michael:
    >>>The point is the Greeks got to choose how to write it in their own script (including the final omega instead of the more euro-harmonized ευρό, which was presumably also an option they chose not to take. This is a basic freedome that anal retentive petty tyrants at the ECB wish to deny the Bulgarians>>>
    “anal retentive” is part of the job description for a central bank. As for “petty tyrants”, it seems to me they are applying the law as it stands and as they see it and have no discretion to do otherwise. It’s probably a matter that needs to be resolved at a different level (political/legislative) which is what seems to be happening.
    If the Bulgarians had been in from the start it seems obvious the problem would not have arisen. That is the difference with the Greeks, not some arbitrary discrimination as was suggested. There have been spelling issues with several of the other new (post-euro) member states apart from Bulgaria.

  59. I don’t think AAVE is anywhere close to the reason for Irish pluralization patterns, Christopher. And even if it were, why would you look to recent rappers instead of, say, inter-war jazz musicians?
    Most AAVE speakers would probably pronounce /z/ in “euros” anyway. /s?nt?/ might not have an “s”, but that’s because of the stop and the cluster. Look at /da:l?z/ for comparison.

  60. David Marjanović says:

    In Slovenian it’s the other way around. They write v but pronounce it as a short /u/, Belarussian-style.

    By the way, why not let Israel join?

    It could join today, and probably would have long ago, if it had peace around its borders. That’s the only obstacle… and it’s not going away anytime soon… 🙁

    And in French its cinq euro, vingt euro, i.e. never plural.

    Are you sure? I mean, you can’t hear that.
    In German, on the other hand, currencies really don’t have separate plurals. There was a word Schillinge “separate 1-Schilling coins”, but it wasn’t compulsory even in the cases where it could have been used, and it’s history since 2002. Yi ouyuan, liang ouyuan, san ouyuan… oops… 0:-}

    The I-can’t-remember-their-name twins are uncomfortably nationalistic.

    The Kaczyński brothers are indeed quite uncomfortable, but I don’t think they are going to last much longer. Many Poles despise them deeply and/or ridicule them at every occasion.

    reïntroduce

    Wow! That’s the first time the diaeresis has been used in English in the last 50 years! (Outside of the odd scientific name like Aïstopoda and the word naïve that most people graphically keep in French.)
    Oops — with one exception: I found a guy who consistently spelled zoölogy two days ago.

    there is one solution, simply use the Euro sign and nothing else!

    ¥€$!!!
    BTW, does anyone know where the Latvian ei- comes from? Via Yiddish? Certainly not from Bavarian-Austrian German where eu has merged into ei (except in Viennese)???

  61. Dottore Marjanović,
    Thank you. I think I may actually have picked up the diaeresis from this lovely community. I remember reading about how pretentious The New Yorker was in insisting on using it in “coöperate”, and my mind lit up in a great big “Hey! I like that.” (It may at the time have sounded more like “Shibby!”, but I paraphrase with the aid of time passed.)
    Shamefacedly I must admit that I’m rather inconsistent, but I almost always use “noöne” in preference to the alternatives. Even on Messenger (does using that mean I’m dating myself?).

  62. BTW, does anyone know where the Latvian ei- comes from? Via Yiddish? Certainly not from Bavarian-Austrian German where eu has merged into ei (except in Viennese)???
    This has been difficult to find, but the best I’ve been able to find in Latvian sources is that it comes from a German dialect where “eu” was pronounced as “oi”, but since at the time Latvian didn’t have “oi” as a dipthong, it morphed to “ei”.
    But really, “eu” in Latvian just doesn’t happen. Apparently it’s an official Latvian dipthong, but the only place that I can think of hearing it is by itself as an exclamation along the lines of “Ack!” or “Huh?”.

  63. David Marjanović says:

    I’m only starting my Ph.D. thesis. 🙂
    I personally hate the “coöperate” phenomenon. You can imagine how I’m always tempted to pronounce it! The morpheme boundaries are obvious anyway — and if people want to do something to make English spelling more phonemic, they should do so outright instead of fuzzing around, IMNSHO.

  64. David Marjanović says:

    It’s still better than “co-operate”, though!!!
    But it has derailed other people, too: I have a model of the dinosaur Troodon. As you can imagine, that was spelled Troödon in earlier times… and what does it say on my model? TRØODON.

  65. Well, I gather that the Italians use the title much like an honorific. And since you too keep impressing me with your erudition both here and on Pharyngula – two rather diverse blogs – I felt the need to express my admiration.
    I have considered reading up on the Simplified Spelling Society’s guidelines, actually. As it is I only spell relatively well because of my brief exposure to French. Still, I keep messing up c, s and z as well as ea and ea.
    “Trøodon”? Cute. It’s a good thing I don’t listen to much modern music. I can’t help but snicker when I come across those silly heavy-metal diacritics.

  66. marie-lucie says:

    And in French its cinq euro, vingt euro, i.e. never plural.
    – Are you sure? I mean, you can’t hear that.
    It is true – the word euro is supposed to be invariable so as to look the same in all the languages of the EU. As someone above remarked, it might make sense as printed on the currency, but not in common usage within a language. It is true that you couldn’t hear the difference in French between euro and euros, but the officially prescribed vingt euro looks like a spelling mistake to anyone over six years old.

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