It doesn't sound like Yoghurt

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/01/11 16:01 -05:00, original URI:

Simon Daniels pointed me at an article entitled Why is Menzies pronounced Mingis? 

It is about Ȝ, also known as YOGH.

Simon suggested it might be interesting for two reasons:

I agree with the first point, though I am not sure why he thought I'd be interested in something that sounded like blog. :-)

It has been a letter that I had never seen before I started working with Unicode, but once I was getting involved with the standard I saw it mentioned regularly. It seems that once upon a time it had been unified in Unicode with EZH (U+1d23) and Michael Everson produced a convincing proof that this was a false unification, linguistically speaking (an argument that carries a great deal of weight with many of the linguists and former linguists who work on the Unicode Standard). Anyway, ever since then Michael brings up the issue every time he talks about disunifications either done at his behest or at the behest of others after his attempts failed.

A typical mention goes something like this:

YOGH and EZH were disunified. Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli were disunified. The two QOPPAs were disunified. NUNAVUT H and AIVILIK B were disunified from Latin "H" and "b" as letters naturalized by Canadian Syllabics.

You get the point.

It is funny, but for me the issue of passive vocabulary was raised.

Since Michael Everson is in Ireland and I am usually not and since he usually does not come to the USA for UTC meetings, I do not see him all that often. But he would regularly mention the YOGH in email, and it just made me think of Yoghurt, so in my mind that was how it was pronounced. In a situation like that where it is constantly reinforced (albeit passively), it is hard to think of the pronunciation as being anything different -- until I got mail from Simon I did not actually know I was mistaken!

Perhaps the fact that it actually sounds like BLOG might help retrain me, given all the blogging I do.

And the fact that it is now going to be in the core fonts in Vista means that anyone will be able to see it, rather than the people who happen to have the right font.

So I guess Simon was right, and it is something cool to blog about. :-)


This post brought to you by "Ȝ" (U+021c, a.k.a. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER YOGH)
(sounds like blog, not yoghurt!)

# Dean Harding on 11 Jan 2006 6:10 PM:

You should change your "BLOG HOME" link to "Ȝ HOME" (along with all the other times you write out "blog".) It'll be an inside joke for all us regular readers :)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 11 Jan 2006 8:46 PM:

Heh, that would be interesting.... :-)

# Ian Griffiths on 12 Jan 2006 5:35 AM:

"UK spelling in honor of the UK article"

...only that rather confuses the comparison.

In the UK, we pronounce yoghurt so that the first syllable rhymes with "blog".

So if you're British, and you're pronouncing it so it sound like YOGHurt then you are in fact pronouncing it right.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 12 Jan 2006 10:40 AM:

Ah, see what happens when I make assumptions? I always thought the UK pronunication was more like the US one, though I admit my belief was based on a scene from the movie Notting Hill (which did have a few other inaccuracies so I should not be surprised).

# Yaytay on 13 Jan 2006 12:04 AM:

Just don't get us started on "scones".

# Michael S. Kaplan on 13 Jan 2006 12:08 AM:

Don't tell me it is like the 'o' in 'blogs' rather than 'bones'....

# Yaytay on 13 Jan 2006 10:28 PM:

Worse than that, it depends who you ask - with neither (n-eye-ther/n-ee-ther) side giving an inch.
I'm a 'o' as in 'blogs' person myself.

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