Barack Obama Visits Ireland In Search of Apostrophe

Barack O’Bama and the Little People

Barack O’Bama, of the Moneygall O’Bamas, said the US president. I am here to find the apostrophe that we lost along the way.

You see, Barack, there’s the problem right there.  You’ve been badly advised.  That apostrophe isn’t Irish.  That apostrophe is something imposed on Irish names by English speakers who couldn’t get their heads or their tongues around “Ó”.  When Irish names became transliterated into English, they acquired the ludicrous apostrophe that eventually gave us Darby O’Gill and the Little People.

Though we may have embraced it wholeheartedly, that apostrophe came not from Gaelic culture but from Englishmen who had in mind Will o’ the Wisp and John o’ Groats when they told us what our names should be in English.

How telling that we treat it as our own, just as we bought into the saccharine sheet music dross pumped out by Johnny Patterson in the 1870s and sold in New York by the thousand to gullible ex-pats.  Shake hands with your uncle Dan.  The stone outside Dan Murphy’s door.  I like to wander down the old boreen.

How many Irish people do you know who still, to this day, think such nonsense is part of our heritage?  How many parties have you been at where some old fella breaks into a mawkish rendition of Goodbye Johnny Dear, Off to Philadelphia in the Morning or some other tear-jerking piffle?  Many, in my experience, as we dilute our true heritage with ersatz rubbish.

I’m surprised at Obama, who is a highly capable scholar, but perhaps it shows his true intent in coming to Ireland.  When I heard him speak of the lost apostrophe, I knew he was here for the Leprechaun value of the visit.  Just a re-election stunt, with the Irish turning out in their throngs to provide the willing extras in the campaign ad.  He wanted to meet us in the garden where the praties grow, and  there was no shortage of fresh-faced gorsoons and colleens to play along in this modern, though stone broke, Glocca Morra to maintain the Hollywood fantasy.

We’ll stand by Ireland, Obama assured the adoring crowds in College Green, after they had been uplifted by the dancing Jedward twin monkeys.  Stand by was the operative phrase.  When a proposal was made to impose losses on the bondholders for whom we now all work, it was Obama’s treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, who vetoed the suggestion.

And where was Barack O’Bama of the Little People while Tim did the dirty work?

Why, standing by, of course.


73 thoughts on “Barack Obama Visits Ireland In Search of Apostrophe

  1. Why didn’t Kenny come right out and ask him for a trillion euro – why did Ireland’s artists share a stage with Jedward and Westlife?

    Meantime, Cork’s nickname the rebel county has nothing to do with Irish republicanism. It goes back to 1491 and the wars of the roses when Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the throne of England challenged the Tudor Succession. He landed in Cork and recieved the support of the Earl of Desmond and assorted langers.

    No wonder they were out waving Union Jacks for the Queen last week. The Rebel County my etc.

  2. I like it.

    I wrote this earlier:

    “Queenie and Barack got the same show basically. Queenie was shown around like an old relative who had been excommunicated from the family and was recently forgiven and invited back to look around the place. O’Bama was back for shameless promotion of his 3% Irishness. He is a good speaker and this was part of his re-election campaign. He did slip up a bit when phrasing what sounded like a question on how to deal with adversity. He should have said “jail some corrupt businessmen and politicians” but he is as likely to do this as he is in his own country. It seems change is illusive. He could share this with Enda and Eamonn however I suspect they already know this”

  3. Well spotted Bock, excellent!

    These stage managed, highly emotive, well timed and close to mass hysteria events always leave a foul taste with me.

    Is it only me or had Michelle a hard time to play along perhaps?

  4. Ah cut the man a bit of slack Bock. I thought his visit to Moneygall went well and he actually paid for his pint.

    In Dublin, one could feel the ignorance emanating from the crowd as he lectured them about American history, of which the Irish are quite ignorant. If he had been honest and a tad naughty regarding the American Civil War, he might have mentioned how Cavan man General Patrick Cleburne fought bravely for the Confederacy and how the Irish in New York showed their disapproval for conscription into the fight against slavery by burning black babies in an orphanage. He might also be aware of how several patriotic Young Irelanders fled to America and proceeded to own slaves and became staunch defenders of this “right.” Fighting against oppression to be sure. One has to commend his tactfulness in this regard.

  5. But I’m not talking about his visit to Moneygall. I’m talking about his address to the adoring crowds in Dublin, not to mention Enda’s Croke-Park-style introduction. Tá áthas orm on chorn seo a ghlacadh.

  6. Again, the Dublin crowd had rather enjoyed spectacle of Jedward cavorting about. Obama could have came on and stated that he had found a leprechaun copulating with a banshee, no word of a lie, and they would have cheered it.

  7. The whole country has been struck by acute Leprechaunitis. It started with Ugly Betty’s visit, and now Obama has made it chronic. It’s incurable….

  8. your right seconds, although, i pretty sure the rebel tag originally applied to the city. cork city was called the rebel city. the rebel county came later

  9. Seriously… apostrophe? Who gives a f*ck where it came from – it originally wasn’t written at all so should we lament the fact we gave up our non-literate existence and the incredible memory that tends to bring for an O fada, versus and O apostrophe….this is serious Aldi level blogging.

  10. It’s handy when you don’t want to mention the same word that describes the one thing in a par Gerryo, that’s the only use I have for it.

    Cork-born Sean Og O Langer, one of the most consistent arseholes on Leeside, has vowed to bring the national arsehole title back to the Rebel County after spending the last two weeks irritating people in the Munster capital – can anyone fit another word pertaining to Cork in said par/sentence?

  11. Didnt get the full video of ‘O’Bama’s’ visit to the island via the mainstream media stateside, perhaps I can find it somewhere online.

    But I must admit that when, pre-visit, I read something about the ‘missing apostrophe’ it made me cringe. I envision a battalion of PR consultants advising on how to capitalize on this visit with the irish americans, and the irish PR going along with it… Yea, well, the general public everywhere seem to eat up this sort of cheap sentimental, feel-good bull crap – the facts be damned for getting in the way.

    But dont you know, having learned about the origin of the ‘O apostrophe’ from this website, I knew that Bock, if no one else, would call the gambit by it’s proper name – and I was right.

    I may be a propogandized, screwed-to-the-wall middle class american, but I can learn and retain. Obama, with or without apostrophe, is not the worst of our presidents. Which isnt saying much, unless you have any familiarity with our worst…

    Off topic, but I would like to know: what does ‘lace curtain Irish’ mean? My grandmother, a Murphy from Cork Co., always described her people as such. I cannot ascertain what the hell that means and would be grateful if any of you could enlighten me.

  12. oh, and I may be wrong GOM, but Ogam (sp?) script, pretty damn old and predating both the Vikings and the Normans, so not illiterate by a long shot. Just not English.

  13. Bock, you don’t say what the “Ó” actually means. I always thought that it was an abbreviated “of”, as in “son of”, or “of the clock” in O’clock. But I see from here (if the guy is right) that it really means “grandson of”. And he’s also angry about the English mistake:

    Putting English language apostrophes in Irish language names

  14. Reading further in the thread, he says:

    First of all, I don’t care how someone spells their own name; that’s their choice, be it in English or Irish or any language for that matter. Indeed, I have no problem whatsover with modern spellings of Irish language names like Ó Cuív (instead of the traditional Ó Caoimh. Interesting letter to the editor of the IT on that particular subject here, if anyone is interested.).

    What I do have a problem with, is people mis-spelling other people’s names out of ignorance or sloppiness, especially in Ireland. Your surname, or any other surname may have gone through many mutations of spelling over history and you or anyone else are entitled to spell it how you wish, but I’m quite sure you wouldn’t like someone changing it on your behalf without consultation. And in English, I’m quite sure someone with a name like O’Reilly would object to it being randomly spelt O-Reilly or Oreilly by others all of a sudden.

  15. To Mari. The reference to Lace Curtins is about the people who had them on their windows, you could not see properly into their property but you could see out. Like those mirrors that you see on the cop shows.

    Lots of people (assuming here, mostly women ) would watch what their neigbours get up to during the day. So in the case mentioned by yourself Lace Curtin Irish, a curtin twicher, a watcher, a voyour (sic). I read once where certain people would have a book (log) to record any unusual events and report them to the police ( Garda ). Until all people could actually afford said Lace curtins, anyone who had them were treated with suspicion and not trusted.

  16. I seem to remember Enda Kenny mention the missing apostrophe on St Patricks day in the white house.
    Maybe at some stage Barack should have got a good slap, and told his name was Jam’s O Donnell.

  17. Of course it’s electioneering but it’s good TV and it was all upbeat.At least he can down a pint. There are worse than Obama, and probably closer to home :)

  18. It was just a simple pun on his name Obama. Nothing more nothing less. That was all President Obama intended, and that has got your knickers in a bunch?.

  19. It’s good of you to clear that up for us, O’Dwyer. Thanks.

    I’m guessing you’re Irish-American, right?

  20. I was born and raised in Tipperary, living now in the States. Arseholes like you want to have it both ways. You want to bash Americans all the time, while still wanting them to bring lots of jobs to you, to rescue you from your economic collapse.

    Irish Americans had no more say in where they were born, than you or I did, so pull your bunched up knickers out of your arse, and get a life.

  21. Scapegoating Irish Americans. Big tough armchair loud mouth probably sitting in your mother’s house blogging away. Tell us more about how Obama should have done ten years of study on the history of the O’, before even having dared to make a pun on his name.

  22. Extremely defensive of you, O’Dwyer. That’s twice in two posts you’ve directed personal insults at another commenter on this site. Normally, you’d be bounced off immediately for your inability to argue rationally but I’ll make allowances for you. It’s probably Fox News making you forget your manners.

    Over here, calling someone an arsehole doesn’t win an argument. It just makes you look like an idiot. Maybe you’ve been too long in the States.

  23. Whatever about Obama not knowing about the “fada”..What about the Irish advisers who didn’t know?? Many of our civil servants truly are ignorant when it comes to things Gealic. Look at our road signs where instead of using the original Irish place names they have translated the anglicised version. Newport is now An Port Nua…whatever that means!

  24. Bock,many of the songs to which you refer were simply reminiscences of real life events,happy and sad,which real people experienced. Many of the songs in the Irish idiom referred to the curse of forced emigration which happened again and again and is still with us. I remember my grandfather and others of his generation singing some of the songs you mention,forty,fifty years ago. I doubt if he or they would have regarded them as rubbish,ersatz or otherwise. Sentimental certainly,but of their time,and generally harmless.

  25. There’s nothing wrong with singing anything. I’ve been known to sing a fair amount of rubbish myself.

    The point I’m trying to make is that people came to believe these were traditional Irish songs when they were nothing of the sort. I’m starting to doubt if we know what the hell our culture is.

  26. KB — As far as I know, the name “an Port Nua” refers to the river embankment in the village.

  27. Maybe Bock but the original name for the village was Tullach an Cloc Seasta referring to the standing stone nearby. And what about Ceapach de Faoiteach (Cappawhite) renames An Cheapach Ban (I can’t handle the fada on this yoke!! like the bould Barack)

  28. “An Cheapach Bán” comes from pure ignorance. Unfortunately, I notice a lot of that sort of thing around the country.

  29. Seems to me like it was more than a pun, O’Dwyer. I mean, he did go there to reconnect to his Irish roots, distant as they may be. But Bock, you were a little presumptuous to assume that he’s an Irish-American, the tone being insulting, even though he did call admiringly refer to Obama as President (I know that that’s what he is, but again, it was the tone of it).

    Still, it’s not quite forum etiquette to call the blog owner an arsehole when you disagree with him, or are even insulted by him. Knickers up your arse? Get a life?? Better to just point it out where you disagree. And you’re not just another commentator on this site, Bock – you ARE the site! (You have also been seen calling people arseholes, but not I recall in direct argument).

    And what makes you think that Bock also wants The (Your) President’s Men to provide them all with jobs? Me thinks that he thinks that they could create their own, if the bankers and bondholders didn’t constantly squeeze the life out of ’em.

    There be a guy posting O’dwyer
    Who’s put ol’ Bock on the blog pyre
    Defending Obama
    Employs too much drama
    Insulting, he’s fired Bock’s ire

  30. I’m starting to doubt if we know what the hell our culture is.

    This is a good point. I’ve two Irish American sons. What do I teach them about their heritage? They want to know. I’ve kept them away from Irish clubs because it’s just a bitter meeting of booze and begrudgery. The non-boozy activity is steeped in blue-rinse Catholicism which I don’t appreciate So we don’t go there and have studiously avoided that scene in 3 states.
    They watch GAA with me. They know some stories of the Fianna , they ask, I wrack my brain. They are the fact-checkers in schools that organize leprechaun hunts on St. Patrick’s Day. (glitter trails and candy) Mythbusters and cynics.
    What is the culture?
    Should I even bother? They will always be the proverbial Yanks when they go home. I’d like them to know a bit though.
    What is the culture?
    Maybe it’s fodder for another post?

  31. In my experience “hello, how are you?” would be taken as an insult by many Irish americans. They seem to be really angry people. As for Obamas motives in visiting, well, duh. He has 64 great great great great grandparents, one of whom was Irish. Where did the other 63 come from, and has he visited any of their home towns? As a criticism of a politician, pointing this out is as mild as it gets.

  32. Essodee, is that correct, that the Moneygall chap was his great great great great grandfather.. 4 greats?
    I thought I heard him say 3 greats in his speech.. that’d make it his grandfather’s grandfather right.? Not too far back really..
    Which would mean that’s .. how many generations?. Oh I’m confusssed..

    Just to be a bit pedantic, you wouldn’t have 64 great great great brilliant grandparents.. you’d only have two on either side, maternal and paternal.. You’d adding up each generation, but a great grandparent is not the same as a great- great grandparent etc.. each are a unique relation.

    I bet the 40 million plus Irish- Americans thought it was all just fabulous anyways.

  33. Oh wait nevermind..doh. You’d have 4 grandparents. You’d have 8 great grandparents .. it’s expediential.. and I don’t really give a rat’s ass.

  34. Okay, I heard him say three greats.. but then he also mentioned it was his grandfather’s grandfather.
    That should only be two greats.. but he’d have 16 of those.

  35. Essodee: Good point. So I guess he’ll be making another 63 (31?) trips – some local – before the elections. Although he can only make the apostrophe pun in Ireland.

    As to the insult: the way you put it was saying that he was overreacting because he was an Irish-American. Implying that he wouldn’t have if he was a real Irish Irelander. Kind of (a little bit) like being a traitor to his roots. Like he’s strutting your Americanness around.

    Or maybe it wasn’t like that at all. But that’s it might be perceived.

  36. EashtGalwayWoman: (pardons, Bock) There’s a nice article at wiki about Irish culture:


    The Celtic festival of Samhain, known as Halloween, originated in Ireland and is now celebrated all over the world.

    For a comparatively small country, Ireland has made a disproportionate contribution to world literature in all its branches, in both the Irish and English languages… Three of the four Nobel prize winners were born in Dublin … making it the birthplace of more Nobel literary laureates than any other city in the world. The Irish language has the third oldest literature in Europe (after Greek and Latin)…

    Pub culture, as it is termed, pervades Irish society, across all cultural divides. The term refers to the Irish habit of frequenting public houses (pubs) or bars. Traditional pub culture is concerned with more than just drinking, even though Ireland has a recognized problem with over-consumption of alcohol…

    Ireland hosts one of the best, if not well known blogs on the internet – Bock the Robber. (OK – I threw that one in myself…)

  37. @ King’s Bard
    It’s Ceapach de bhFaoiteach. Doesn’t stop the sign outside the village declaring it to be Ceapach de Bhfaoiteach…..I noticed that Ceapach Ban sign myself. I’ve a theory that the closer you are to a border, the more the Council couldn’t give a toss unless the N24 runs through it.

  38. @rmari – irrespective of when it was invented (and you are probably right, Ogam is old but does it have fadas?), it was spoken before it was written – so why is it that the first to invent something invented the “real thing” and that which must be revered and respected? Languages evolve with loads of factors impacting that evolution, the French are a bit nutty about this, and to an extent I agree, but I’d rather listen to and smile at our turns of phrase than worry about how they are written down because thats what I think makes us unique and is a reflection of where we are from, scribing is copycatting anyway!

    Thanks for the refund Bock, I think I’ll buy a Choc-ice!

  39. S1LU — I wouldn’t like to have you defending me in court. At no point did I say that he was overreacting because he was an Irish-American.

  40. GOM — I have no difficulty with languages evolving, but the Anglicised forms of Irish names are not evolution. They’re not even translations. They’re transliterations. And therefore, the apostrophe is about as Irish as a caricature from Punch, yet we adopted it wholesale.

  41. I didn’t say that you said that – I said that “the way you put it” was saying that – that he was overreacting because he was an Irish-American.

    If not, then what did you mean by adding the otherwise unnecessary line “I’m guessing you’re Irish-American, right?” My guess is that, since he insulted you with “that has got your knickers in a bunch”, you returned the insult. Otherwise, why say it? He wouldn’t be defending Obama if he was a REAL Irishman…

  42. Excuse me one minute. Please stop putting words in my mouth. There was no implication in my follow-up observation one way or the other. I told the man that I guessed he might be Irish-American, and he confirmed it. If you want to draw other inferences from the exchange, that’s entirely up to you, but we’ll treat them as precisely that : your inferences, not my implications.

  43. S1LU, being the pedant you are, any chance you’d confirm for me that you’d have 16 great great grandparents, and stop analysing nonsense?

  44. I had a good friend years ago who use to become completely obsessed with irrelevant detail and utterly failed to see the bigger picture. Must give him a call and see how he is.

  45. Whether or not you intended an implication, he apparently perceived one, which is why he insulted you even more in the next post. He confirmed your observation in anger, as a personal affront – Obama wasn’t one of the Irish-Americans he was talking about (as much as O’bama might like everyone to think so). It didn’t seem to me like just an innocent follow-up observation – not in the context anyway. It will be interesting to hear what he thinks.

  46. The man is entitled to take whatever offence he wants. It’s not my concern. I suspect he was looking to be affronted, and the fact that he opened the conversation by callling me an arsehole confirms that view. Now, let’s leave it there, since it’s utterly irrelevant.

  47. T’would be a bit like telling you you’re getting your knickers in a twist over a fada but missing the whole bondholder business I suppose..

    But shur, the sentimental twats in the U.S love all the bull really.. ‘yes we can.. yes we can.. I lost me fada, apostrophe, I’m here to get back.”
    ‘Ara tis lovely.. he gets my vote.’

    Not to say all Irish Americans are sentimental twats mind you.

  48. Ah, we can stand by eachother then.
    I’d say they’ve a while to go before defaulting though. Social security, public pensions etc..would be hit first.
    They reckon another few months before the shit hits the fan.
    Not sure what it means in all reality though. They can’t just keep printing money anyways it seems.

  49. Sent that last post before seeing your two.

    Sorry, folks – its not nonsense, and not irrelevant details. O’Dwyer was offended by Bock making a big deal (in O’Dwyer’s opinion) of the apostrophe. So he insulted Bock. Bock subtly insulted him back. O’Dwyer caught the return insult, and hit back even harder. And likewise Bock. They knew what was happening when it was happening. If you both want to try to write it off now and ignore it, that’s your choice.

    I think that people’s feelings deserve such attention to detail. Your demeaning that attention doesn’t make it less deserving. For me, people’s feelings are also part of the big picture.

    Oh, about the greats, it’s simple math, multiples of 2: 1 person has 2 parents, 4 grands, 8 greats, 16 great greats, 32 great great greats (FME) and 64 great great great greats (Essodee). The greats formula is:

    8 x 2 to the power of (the # of greats – 1)

    Isn’t that just great? Must write a limerick about this one…

  50. S1LU — When I appoint you an administrator of this site, I’ll be sure to let you know. Would you kindly drop it? I don’t give a rat’s arse how much offence anyone takes at my opinions.

  51. Thanks S1LU.. got it. He did say it was his grandfather’s grandfather.. but said one too many greats.
    The pedanticism is put to much better use with maths, than on peoples’ feelings don’t you think? :) Waste of time that. O’Dwyer mighta just got out of the wrong side of the bed today..

  52. Sorry – missed your posts again after posting my last.

    Not administrating – just observing, analysing, and defending where and for whom it seems necessary. I admit that I could be wrong.

    It’s easy to back out of an argument by saying that the argument is irrelevant.

    He did not open the conversation by calling you that name, unless you consider his responding to your first response the opening. He opened with the knickers comment, you countered with Irish-American, then he countered back with it.

    The one adjective you use to describe yourself in the blog title is “offensive”. So we know that you are – and you’re proud of it. And we accept and like it, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. My point is just that your Irish-American “follow-up observation” was just another subtle example of that.

    Ready to kindly drop it now : D

  53. And now missed you again, FME! Damn few seconds delay! ; )

    No, I think that people’s feelings are more important that math’s formulas!


    8’s 2 Greats

    To know how ma-ny grands are great
    You just have to start out with 8
    Then times it by 2
    To the power that’s tru-
    Ly greats minus 1: procreate!


  54. FME, you got me going. Check this out:

    The total number of your ancestors (plus you) below any given parental level is the number of parents on that level minus 1. Examples:

    Parent level: 2 parents: you are the only 1 below them (ignoring siblings): 2 parents – 1 = 1 (you)

    Grands level: 4 grands: below them are your 2 parents and 1 you: 4 – 1 = 3

    skipping a little: Greats x 4 level: 64 quadruple greats: below them are 32 great great greats, 16 great greats, 8 greats, 4 grands, 2 parents and 1 you: 64 – 1 = 63, which = 32+16+8+4+2+1 !!

    I forgot the name for this rule, but it is also represented by the binary system, which is used internally by all modern computers. 1 is yes/on; 0 is no/off. So (1st row is the binary number, 2nd row is the number in regular base 10) (hope that this displays properly!):

    1 1 1 1 1 1 1 = 127 because

    64+32+16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 127
    1 0 0 0 0 0 0 = 64 because

    64+ 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 64
    0 1 1 1 1 1 1 = 63 because

    0 +32 +16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 63 !

    Math is fun!

  55. This might look better:

    .1…..1…..1…..1…..1….1….1 = 127 because

    64+32+16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 127
    .1…..0….0…..0….0….0….0 = 64 because

    64+ 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 64
    0…..1……1…..1….1….1…..1 = 63 because

    0 +32 +16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 63 !

  56. I’m losing the will to live. You won’t like me after I lose the will to live. Enough with the silly shit already. Enough!!

  57. OK – sorry. Got a little carried away again.

    Thanks for letting me, though – it was fun.

    Where’s O’Dwyer?

  58. To think an offhand remark of mine might have caused the demise of Bock, I’d be a wanted man in Limerick. Sorry Bock!

  59. Well if we continue to be a big people from a little nation (referring to the disproportional global representation we have relative to our domestic population size) we will always be at the mercy of this transliteration as you put it. However, Ellis Island has a lot to answer for in this and not only to the Irish, creating new surnames was the pastime, it seemed, of some of the clerical staff there. I met a lady in the US recently called Síle who corrected me on the pronunciation of her name as “Shayla” – we are not the only little people, it seems, by your standards.

  60. Whatever about the Americans, what do you make of our reimportation of such names in their new forms? Katelyn, for instance.

  61. “To think an offhand remark of mine might have caused the demise of Bock, I’d be a wanted man in Limerick. Sorry Bock!” I think that was my fault Essodee.. opps.

    I’m sitting here pondering Obama’s heritage and I’m thinking he doesn’t give a rats ass himself what relation the Moneygall fella was.. he definitely said one too many greats! If… oh nevermind.

    Thanks for the sums Some1.. that was real fun!! :)

  62. Maybe you should call me Sum1 ; )

    Glad you had fun – sorry it, among other things, caused Bock so much aggravation.

    Not only about how many greats did he err, but also what year this is:

    Obama flubs in guest book, dates visit “2008”

    Obama said an extra great
    And also’s forgetting the date
    Century he got right
    But then oversight
    Instead of 11, wrote 8!

  63. FME – I think he’s over it now, we’re safe.

    GOM, you remind me of an encounter I had a few years ago with a couple from Birmingham:

    Him: “Hello, I’m Tom and this is Sheuuula”

    Me: ” Hi Tom, Síle, nice to meet you”

    Him: ” No. Not Sheuuula, Shheuuuuullllaaaa….”

    It eventually dawned on me that the lady’s name was Shirley.

  64. Katelyn is an abomination of a name. It’s actually Cáitlín (which is the pet name for Cáit) without the fada.

    Mind you we can hardly complain as we anglicise our own language with words like Dadaí or Mamaí. What happened to Athair agus Máthair?

  65. Lad’s you are great crack. Tis a terrible pity ye are writing what ye are saying. Is there any live platform or forum for this kind of chit-chat? Where face-to-face adds to the unfolding tapestry?. I’m stuck here in the wilds of county laois, and I’ll happily drop all apostrophies, commas, semi-colons and full stops and add non-verbals, embedded commands and weight (tho’ I’m a light-weight by your standards) to the dialogue to see the faces and hear the verbal inflections that are lost on the keys.

    Where are our own bo-ho cafes and meeting places that the English mastered but didn’t seem to leave in the rush to push off?

  66. By reimportation I assume you mean people of Irish birth placing this moniker on their offspring? I suppose my immediate reaction is sadness, such spelling either represents a mis-education or a hope that the name will be the child’s stage name when she tries out for X-Factor – so a “living your life through your children” moment – something we probably are all guilty of at times. As I said earlier, I prefer to listen rather than worry about how its written, even people who name their kids Katelyn can still own that very Irish possession of creating phrases out of nowhere – something I (partially) believe derives from the Irish language constructs creeping into our spoken english, even in those several generations removed from the cúpla focail!

    Nice story about the brummies – as good as the one making the rounds in superficial arsehole land with Cheryl Cole being ostracised from the US because of her accent!

    Actually another Geordie friend of mine told me of an English guy who had people from around the UK read out a passage in their own accent and recorded it and I think it is available at the BBC archive – we need to do a similar thing here, would love to here a Healy-Rae read some Bram Stoker(?)

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