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Monday, July 21, 2008


I’ve had a chance to encounter some unique ways of spelling English names. The first time I encountered this was when I was 16 and attempting to tutor neighbor kids. One kid told me his name was Christopher. I asked him to write his name, he wrote “Khilisitofa”. As a tutor I wanted to teach him the right way to write his name but as a romantic I decided he was, at age 13 or thereabouts, already attached to his name spelt that way, the “proper” spelling would be strange and alien to him.

Today, I came across a list of names, many were spelt funny but “Bulesingisi” took the cake. How many letters in “Blessings”: 9 and “Bulesingisi”:11. I say, this Chichewarising of names i.e. insertion of a plethora of vowels- can make our hands weary of writing. Make no mistake, Jan is to John as Blessings is to Madalitso so what to do about “Bulesingisi”? Alas… I am of the mind to launch a “Spell Right” campaign…
As a matter of interest, some choose to spell the name “Thandi” as “Thandie” (Think Thandie Newton). Well, would that be bantuarizing or vice-versa the above comments

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