Today’s post isn’t about a particular incident or experience that has happened to me recently. Instead I want to comment on something that causes my eye to twitch.
In order to do this, I need to highlight the power of the letter ‘i’. Let’s do a little test.
Below will be a variety of words which change with the addition of the letter ‘i’, in both the meaning and pronunciation. I want to focus on the latter.
If you’re feeling participative, or not in an awkward place like the toilet, mid coitus or at a funeral, then say these following words out loud.
Mad – Maid
Pal – Pail
Brad – Braid
Pad – Paid
Lad – Laid
Crag – Craig
Now, if you’re English, the ‘i’ infused words will have changed; the ‘ai’ now rhyming with Pay, Say or Day. This would’ve been consistent across all these words.
If you’re American, you pronounced the last one as ‘Creg’.
I have never understood why this is the case. Like the words ‘herb’, ‘basel’ and ‘pasta’, the name ‘Craig’ is one of the words that America has difficulty pronouncing correctly, despite not being related to Italian cooking.
Prior to moving to America, the name Craig hadn’t been one I’d encountered much in my life. I knew one at school and, other than him, the only other Craig I know of is the singer Craig David.
But in the USA, the name Craig (Creg) comes up a lot, not because I’ve met a lot of Craigs, but due to a small known website called Craigslist (Cregslist). This means I get to hear ‘Creg’ on a lot of occasions.
This is exacerbated by the fact that a major street in Las Vegas is also called Craig. I cross that bastard every day.
So, by this logic, the name Meg should actually be spelt ‘Maig’ but it isn’t. Yet, the name Megan is pronounced ‘Maigan’.
And yes, I’m very aware that the word ‘Sad’ becomes ‘Said’….but let’s not talk about it, OK?