bookmark_borderOne monarchy is plenty, thanks!

Originally uploaded by Bengt Nyman

Today’s wedding of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden was not a big media event in the UK.

Because my mum is a royalist, I tried to find it amongst the hundreds of TV channels on our Sky box, but to no avail. (In the end she watched SVT – Sweden’s BBC – streamed live over the Internet.)

However, in most other European countries it was big news, in both kingdoms and republics.

The British media must clearly have decided that reporting on one monarchy is more than enough.

However, on The Telegraph‘s “Most Viewed” list, the Swedish wedding is number 1, 2 and 4.

That makes me wonder whether the media got it wrong here, and that the British public – just like elsewhere in Europe – would actually have loved a few hours of live broadcasting from Stockholm.

Anyway, as a republican I’m of course happy that it got ignored here. If only the media would also start ignoring the Windsors!

bookmark_borderPenis vs. peonies

Originally uploaded by emrld_cicada

In RP, the distinction between ‘penis’ /?pi?n?s/ and ‘peonies’ /?pi??n?z/ is very clear.

However, in Scottish English, the /?/ in the latter word is omitted, so in my current mixture of RP and Scottish English the two words become almost homophonous: /?pi?n?s/ vs. /?pi?n?z/.

However, applying the standard rules of Scottish English (not of Scots!) would make the difference somewhat clearer – you would expect the difference to be /’pin?s/ [?pin?s] vs. /?pine#z/ [?pine?z].

The difference is even bigger, though.

Something happens to the first vowel in peonies, so the difference is actually [?pin?s] vs. [?pi?ne?z], as if it were /?pi#ne#z/ (almost like a hypothetical compound *pea-nays).

I wonder what’s going on – in Scottish English vowel length is normally predictable if you know the morphology of the word.