This is truly wonderful: Mac OS X’s Dictionary program (featuring the New Oxford American Dictionary) lists the pronunciation of “Myanmar” as “Burma.” Go to Eric Bakovic’s LL post to see the image. Hey, that’s how I say it, anyway!
While you’re at the Log, you might check out a couple of posts by Arnold Zwicky: one about an absurd lie by the Toronto Star about a language test for immigrants that supposedly claimed that the sentence “The standard of living has increased” is ungrammatical, and a touching one about his long-time partner, whom dementia had robbed of the ability to recognize the word California… unless he needed to recognize it.


  1. Arthur Crown says

    Arnold Zwicky’s California article is so good — a bit Oliver Sachs-like, but with the great twist of having been written by a linguist. If you can, read the language notes from his web page that he points to in the middle of the piece. It is so sad, but will give you a wonderful insight into who Arnold Zwicky is that you don’t get from his more formal LL pieces.

  2. Thank you, Arthur Crown,
    I hadn’t read the pdfs, but I think I will now. I’ve come to like Zwicky a lot from just his ‘formal’ pieces, actually.

  3. A. Crown says

    I’ve come to like Zwicky a lot from just his ‘formal’ pieces, actually.
    @ Sili: Yes. I hadn’t, you see, which probably says more about me being insensitive than anything else. Anyway, i like him very much now (I’m sure he’ll be relieved to know).
    Oh, and thanks for your post about his daughter-in-law’s books.

  4. Is it correct that the opposition party has asked for “Burma” to be continued to be used rather than the military government’s preferred “Myanmar” or am I mistaken about that?

  5. You are correct, which is why it mystifies me that everybody in the Western world claims to support the opposition but uses “Myanmar” anyway.

  6. michael farris says

    language hat:
    I’m sensing a “stuff white people like” moment..
    #456 Endonyms.
    If a white person travels outside the US their friends and acquaintances will never hear the end of it…
    White people love referring to places by names they think that other white people don’t know. This shows how widely traveled they are and how they identify with the local people there.
    “Yeah, I saw that when I was in Chennai.”
    “Chennai, the colonialists (heavy pause) called it Madras.”
    “Oh, you mean Cennai. The local people pronounce it with an initial s sound…”
    for the unaware:

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