Zurich, Los Angeleeze, and Thomas Wilson

For years I have proudly known that Zurich, in English, has no umlaut. This is a word in English, and it’s simply irrelevant what the German version may be.

At the same time I have scorned the British for their mispronunciation “Los Angeleeze”. That’s just plain wrong and ignorant, I have thought.

Painfully, slowly, I have accepted that these two positions are inconsistent, and I am duty bound to recognize that in British English, that Californian city is Los Angeleeze.

Just when I thought I had put this all behind me, here comes a new challenge! One of the main squares in Toulouse is the Place du Président Thomas Wilson. The French, who can’t get their heads around middle names, are calling Woodrow Thomas! So let me ask you, then: am I duty bound to accept that in France, the 28th American President was Thomas Wilson?

[24 May 2018]

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