Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Phonological Note

A phonological note is in order regarding my last post, entitled 'Cadiz, Please'. When naming a foreign place (or, more generally, when using a foreign word), one usually adapts its pronunciation to whichever language one is speaking.

So, for example, if my Canadian friend is telling me about her recent recent trip to Montreal, she'll probably pronounce it [mʌn.tʃɹi.'ɔːl] 'mun-tree-AWL'. If I'm trying to impress her, I might spell it Montréal, and use the French pronunciation [mɔ̃.ʁe.'al] 'mohn-rhe-AL'. But that just sounds silly.

Similary, I'll be staying in Cadiz, [kə.'diːz] 'kuh-DEEZ', but spelling it Cádiz, pronounced ['ka.ðiθ] 'KAH-theeth'. The locals might make fun of me though; they'll be pronouncing it ['ka.ðis] 'KAH-thees.

Oh, and one more thing: 'España' is pronounced [es.'pa.ɲa], not [eθ.'pa.ɲa]. Just a little pet peeve. (WIkipedia explains this phenomenon pretty well.)
One thing that's always bothered me about Mac OS X: the green plus button. You expect it to maximize windows and apps like your old PC used to do, but it simply doesn't cooperate. RightZoom does the trick. This lightweight app runs in the background, and makes this belligerent button do what makes sense: maximize the window. (via Switching To Mac)

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