Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Okay, a little bit current, I realise. But in the midst of all the discussion of Iceland's first real attempt to make its presence known globally since Björk, not enough attention has been given (in my opinion) to just what an entirely awesome name the volcano in question has.

Let's work with it. Wikipedia rather helpfully points out that it's pronounced [ˈɛɪjaˌfjatlaˌjœːkʏtl̥], which certainly clears up any difficulty you might have. It certainly helps end confusion to know that there's two t sounds in the pronounciation, since there's, well, no t letters in the spelling.

Well, I'm sure Wikipedia feels our pain. They helpfully offer an audio of the pronunciation, in the very widely-understood '.ogg' format (sometimes Wikipedia tries to be deliberately obtuse). Here it is - knock yourself out.

What I hear is 'ay-va-lay-va-click'. Or, if it's not an audio error and is the actual pronunciation, 'ay-ay-va-lay-va-click'. Cool either way, and something I'd like to name my daughter. The teacher might have problems with that spelling, though.

Oh yeah, ava-lava... thanks for, like, destroying half of Europe...
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