Posted by: janecronin | June 3, 2012

The language powers that be

Big things have been happening in the Spanish dictionary world.  It may not make headline news, but the Spanish language is altered from time to time by the linguistic powers-that-be.  These personages do not even exist in the UK or elsewhere in the English speaking world, but the Spanish actually have eminent experts in charge of single letters of the alphabet.  Every now and again one passes away and they say they’re looking for a new letter G person, or whatever.  I’m not making it up.

Every five years or so these experts meet together and decree changes to the language.  They get rid of words that are obsolete, decide which new words should be accepted and make adjustments to spellings.

Last year the most surprising innovation was the change of the name of a letter.  The “y” is now no longer called “i griega”, it is called “ye”.  Apparently it has already been called this for some time in some South American countries.

It’s certainly easier to say, and rhymes better with “be”, “de” “ge” and so on, but it is still a bit of a shock to the system.   However, I can’t see it catching on with anyone over the age of 5.

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