Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spell Me Right, Por Favor

If I am faced with a word or name I'm not familiar with, I copy it out carefully. I expect most of us do. However, foreign names are considered slightly frightening by many Spaniards. Too many letters or not enough. In today's newspaper, Helen Prior becomes Hellen. Even a simple John becomes Jhon or even Jhonathan. There was once a brand of Spanish denims called Jhon Jeans. I may have an old pair somewhere. My dad was called William, or rather more often, at least in print, Willian. My own name is pretty simple, but even after being here for 45 years, people can get it wrong. There's a mention of me in a book published by the diputación de Almería, about how I ran a newspaper in this province during fifteen years. So much for posterity, they've spelled my name wrong.
Perhaps this explains why everyone is called Pepe or Paco. In fact, when I was a kid, the local people used to call me Pipo.
I guess it's all to do with concern over the spelling.

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