What is right?

This is not a blog post about morality, politics, or religion. It’s not about the food guide standards, global warming, or the legalization of marijuana. This blog post is about spelling. That’s right. I’m writing about spelling. I’m confused and I’ve just got to let it out. Why is English so crazy? And why are there at least three ways to spell Тернопіль in English. Ternopil is the city I lived in for the past year and the way I just spelled it is the way Peace Corps, a government organization, spelled the city name. Perhaps I put too much stock in my own government, but I’m a believer in America, Peace Corps, and the government’s ability to spell cities in Ukraine correctly. I’m sure AP Stylebook spells it differently, but you know what, I think they’re wrong. You see, Ukraine is an independent country. It’s been independent of the Soviet Union since 1991. Students learn Ukrainian in school. Students in Ternopil learn Polish instead of Russian as a second language. Russian is understood by most Ukrainians, but people in the west just don’t speak it. It’s not their language. In fact, some would say that Russian is the language of their oppressors. I know that most people in Kyiv (also typed Kiev because of the Russian dominance in the area) speak a lot of Russian. Whatever. I know this although I think it’s weird, but I think we should spell the names of Ukrainian cities the way they sound in the native language so we speak it correctly. Kyiv should sound like “Keey-v” rather than “Key-ev.” For real. That’s the way it sounds in Ukrainian. And Ternopil isn’t “Ternopol” like the dictionary says (due to Russian influence) or “Tarnopol” like the Polish write it. It’s Ternopil. Don’t you get it? It’s in Ukraine. Pronounce and spell it by it’s true Ukrainian name. I suppose I could go into a tirade about the way people pronounce Oregon. It’s not “Or-eh-gone.” It’s more like “Or-y-gun.” Say it right, ya’ll. It’s like “Boy-see” vs. “Boy-zee.” Visit the place or call someone within the area code to make sure you’re saying it right. It’s irritating to those of us who are invested in the spot. I know this might be just another rant that some people don’t care about. But just so you know, I care. That’s why I posted this.


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