Monday, 29 December 2014

A Scandi too far?

In the old days, foreign product names were anglicised where necessary, to avoid undue confusion in the British populace. But gradually, over time, as we've got more sophisticated, we have been exposed to more of the real thing without our brains exploding. So, for instance, despite much moaning, the brand we always called 'nessuls' as in 'Nestles Milky Bar', sneakily switched to being 'nesslay' as a better approximation to Nestlé.

Now, perhaps thinking that we have been prepared for the exotic by our fondness for The Killing and The Bridge, that household standard Ikea has made the risky switch from 'eye-kee-uh' to 'ick-ay-ah', presumably also closer to the original pronunciation. As far as I can tell, the Great British Public (GBP) has yet to adopt this. People still sigh and gird their loins at thought of facing the industrial-strength unfriendliness of the car park of a Eyekeeuh store. But perhaps we will end up with something like the puzzling hybrid used by the more educated driver in an attempt to pronounce the name of the car manufacturer also known as VW. I suspect the initials will always remain 'vee double-you' rather than 'fow vey' as I suppose they should be, but where some of the GBP goes for the full English 'vokes-waggon' many adopt 'vokes-vargen' as a halfway house to 'folks-vargen'.

I don't know why, but my suspicion is that there is a limit. Chances are that yummy mummies will continue to take their kiddywinks on the school run in a 'volvo' rather than a 'wolwo', because, frankly, in English it sounds rather silly.

But who can tell...

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