I say Myanmar, you say Burma

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 6 22:01:24 UTC 2008

If they didn't have such a tin ear, they would have renamed the place
"Ukrainia," given fact that, in Ukrainian, there's no way to
distinguish between "Ukraine" and "The Ukraine." The "distinction" is
peculiar to English (and to various other articulated languages, of

BTW, whatever happened to "La France," as in "Vive ..." and "... belle
...? The only dialect of French that I'm familiar with is _la
linguistique_, wherein "la France" seems never to appear.


On Tue, May 6, 2008 at 10:24 AM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: I say Myanmar, you say Burma
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> tOn Tue, May 6, 2008 at 4:21 AM, David Borowitz <borowitz at stanford.edu> wrote:
>  > Wikipedia, as it often does, tells a good story about the various names of
>  > Burma:
>  > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Burma
>  >
>  > Except for the fact that one of these transliterations is of recent origin
>  > and has been seized by the ruling party as some sort of nationalistic
>  > symbol, this seems a lot like plenty of other phonetic English
>  > pronunciations of historic or sloppy transliterations. (Think of the foreign
>  > policy impacts if Russia started getting mad at us for not saying /rasiya/.)
>  Not so far off: Post-USSR Ukraine made quite a point of not being
>  "*the* Ukraine".
>  --
>  Mark Mandel
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
 -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list