Friday, August 1, 2008

Huh????

Okay, last weeks Frivolous Friday post had to do with my brothers 'exciting train escapade' where he got caught on my train heading out to Wales from London. As you can well imagine, his entire day was shot by the time he made it back to Euston station, and his colleagues didn't let him live that one down. Today I wanted to continue the Welsh theme (don't panic Usman, it has nothing to do with the train ride) at least not directly! Anyway, I got talking to this really pleasant lady on the return journey to London, and during our conversation I discovered that the town with the longest name in the world is actually located on the Island of Anglesey in North Wales. The town is called, wait for it... drum roll please...


Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Yes, you read it right (or at least attempted to), all 58 letters! So, a couple of thoughts. How do you fill out the immigration card asking for the name of your hometown when you travel? How does spell check ensure that you spelt it correctly? How does your teacher know that you spelt it correctly on a test? Anyway, it would appear that they thought of all that before naming the town so they came up with a more acceptable and easier abbreviation: The town is called "Llanfair PG" pronounced something like "Chlaver PG." The actual English translation of the name of the town is: "The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave" (You can't make this sort of stuff up). Oh, in case you were wondering, the train station has the full name spelled out on the signpost (see photo above), no short cuts for these Llanfair PGans. Have a great weekend :)

3 comments:

Ash said...

i think i'd have to move out of town just so i wouldn't have to refer to living in....um, what was it again? llanfair pg? that's still complicated! lol.

Hope said...

OY! Whatever happened to phonics? Life was so simple when everything was pronouced the way it was written. When did "ph" stop sound like "f"?

Joseph said...

Hope, evidently they are more generous with vowels than we are in the regular version of the English language. "W" for instance is a vowel and is pronounced as "OO." Go figure!?!

Ashley, considering the distance between towns (really villages) you'd have a long way to move and I'm not certain Penygroes would be any easier to spell or remember either. :)