Caxton

Mostly language, but not always

The Attacker Attacked

David Marsh wrote about ten zombie language rules in ‘The Guardian’ on 30 September, to the horror of at least one reader, Tristán White (that acute accent should tell us something), who calls himself an external examiner of the University of London. Peter Harvey has quite justifiably had at him and his post deserves a wide readership.

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6 thoughts on “The Attacker Attacked

  1. What should that acute accent tell us, except that his parents gave him a name with orthography that includes acute accents?
    I mean, it’s an Irish name and the accent is a síneadh fada, which indicates the pronunciation Tristawn rather than Tristan. So I suppose, it tells us his name and suggest that he is Irish or of recent Irish decent, or has parents that like Irish names (or at least that Irish name), unless perhaps he chose that name himself (by deed poll or as a pseudonym to commentate on the internet).
    So, what do you think the acute accent tells us?

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  2. It tells me that he thinks rather a lot of himself.

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  3. Having said all that, I realise that I made a mistake in my first comment. Tristan is Welsh in origin but Tristán seems to be Spanish. This renders my comments on the pronunciation irrelevant (and probably just wrong) but I still don’t see why the spelling of his name indicates that he thinks rather a lot of himself.
    People usually spell their names as they do out of habit, not esteem.

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  4. I see. Thank you.

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