Friday, April 16, 2010

Eyjafjallajokull !

Yes,  you read that correctly - Eyjafjallajokull !   Repeat after me:  Eyjafjallajokull,  Eyjafjallajokull,  Eyjafjallajokull!   All the world is abuzz about Eyjafjallajokull today.   Explosions of ice chunks!   Rivers of fire!   Plumes of choking ash!   It's the best news day in ages and everyone is panting to talk about it.  But,  there is one little problem:  nobody can actually say the name.

The fact of the matter is that no normal person can actually repeat the "word" above after me.  Few people south of the arctic circle could manage to utter this gobblygook "word" coherently even once,  let alone three times.  Let's lay it on the line, my friends:  our eyes glazed over as soon as they clapped on that first double consonant, didn't they?  Not to worry, though:  Your Trusty Scribbler is always here to help.  It's my little gift to mankind. 

I am not one to point out the failings of others,  so I will simply mention what everyone already knows,  and leave it at that:  with a language like this,  it is no wonder that Iceland is rather thinly represented in most international news cycles!   Eyjafjallajokull  has been burping up ash for who knows how long-(as I said Iceland is rarely in the news and with good reason!)  some time now,  already,  with little or no international attention paid.  Who can blame reporters for wanting to avoid having to spell (or worse:  pronounce!)  a word like Eyjafjallajokull?  It is only due to the fact that the ash plume has now drifted southeast over Europe,  disrupting European airline travel,  that the reporters of the world can no longer avoid the story,  or the confounded Icelandic language.

No doubt, Those in the Know flicked one glance at that incomprehesible jumble of letters above and knew,  rightly,  that Yours Truly would soon sweep away the curtain of confusion and explain it all.

Here you go:  a complete breakdown of the word:

Eyjafjallajokull :  " thát / vol/CÂN/ ín / Îce/lánd¿ ".

Now everyone can discuss the chaos in Europe intelligently.  No need to thank me.  Happy to help.

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