Wednesday, March 7

Pronounce it right, ye daft announcers!

Dear Angus,
Why is Celtic pronounced with a hard “K” in every case, except when referencing the Boston basketball team, when it’s pronounced with an “S” sound?

Dear What’s Up,
Och, well na didna ye be askin’ one of the most controversial questions out there? I reckon it’s sucha mystery because people have forgotten that til a few years ago, Celtic was pronounced SELL-tick.

Ye see my dear, the first use of a word resembling the word “Celt” was by Greek chroniclers as early as 600CE. The Greek word was ‘Keltoi’, meaning ‘stranger’ or ‘hidden people’ -probably due to the feisty early Celts using ambushin’ techniques when fighting- and its not till much later, in the 1700’s, do people speakin’ French and Latin start usin’ the word ‘Celt’. So, technically I believe the word, being translated into English from French and Latin, like many words startin’ with a “ce-” in English, should be pronounced SELL-tick.

However, if ye want to be takin’ seriously by the in-the-know-crowd these days, ye’ll be pronouncin’ the word KELL-tick. It’s all in the numbers, ye ken? Right now it is correct te be pronouncing Celtic, “KELL-tick,” because enough people have been doing it, and will be continuing to do it.

The reason the Boston Celtics pronounce their name SELL-tick is not because they were founded by ignorant folk who didn’t know any better, but because they were named during a time when people used SELL-tick.

The end result of all of this is that “Celtic” ought, according te the rules of the English language, te be pronounced SELL-tick, but because so many pronounce it KELL-tick, that is also a correct pronunciation. To be leavin’ ye with a wee mantra te be sayin’ :

“Anyone who says “Celtic” is not pronounced SELL-tick is wrong; so is anyone who says it is not pronounced KELL-tick.”

I hope this has been a help to ye,

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