The Importance of Pronunciation and Spelling

Imperfect pronunciation and spelling can sometimes radically alter the meaning of phrases. In this incredible article I will give examples from the Scottish Gaelic language which I have a little experience in (but only a little). In Scottish Gaelic, one of the phrases meaning ‘Sunday’ is ‘Là na Sàbaid’, meaning ‘Day of the Sabbath’. However, the word ‘sabaid’, without the
‘à’, means conflict. In this way it is very easy to accidentally say ‘Day of the conflict’ if you are not careful. Another example is Bòd. This is the Scottish Gaelic word for Bute, which is an island off the west coast of Scotland. Unfortunately, the word ‘bod’, without the ‘ò’, means penis. It would be embarrassing if you were trying to ask someone how to get to Bute, but asked them something else instead! So please be careful if you ever go to Scotland and try speaking Scottish Gaelic. This advice also applies when you are writing these words.

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