The Corner

Don Kwixott, Continued

I’m still getting angry e-mails from readers outraged, outraged, by my remarks on the pronunciation of Cervantes’ epic. That doesn’t change the fact that ‘Don Kwixott’ is how it used to be pronounced (in England). Yup, that’s how it was. Live with it. No comments, interestingly, from these folks so far on that rather awkward ‘quixotic’. Or should that be Keeyotic?

Whilst on this topic, however, lets take a look at the Irish word for ‘prime minister’, taoiseach. It’s a perfectly good word, even a splendid word, but it’s an Irish language word, not an English one. For some reason, probably to do with some vague blend of political correctness and guilt, the British press (particularly its more liberal sections) regularly describe the good Mr. Ahern as ‘Taoiseach’ rather than Prime Minister. That’s odd. The only precedents I can think of for this sort of treatment were Mussolini, regularly described as Duce, and old Adolf, the Fuhrer, and neither of these precedents is exactly, well, flattering.

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