This evening I was at my parents’ house, watching a little TV after Sunday dinner. I don’t really watch much TV anymore, at least not in the conventional broadcast sense, apart from Sunday afternoons at home. Gaelic football matches are the usual background noise to Sunday-afternoon dinner, but we had it a bit later today, so I found myself watching an interesting nature programme.
Just a short post tonight as it’s late, I’ve had three pints of delicious local Buried at Sea chocolate stout, and I’m quite tired after watching Ireland dramatically beat Italy in the European Championships to qualify for the next round.
I think those last two might be related actually…
Also, well done to Wales, Northern Ireland and England for also qualifying. And well done to Italy and my Italian friends who might be reading this: you still finished top of the group, though I’m not sure playing Spain is a fair reward for that!
Anyway, less football, more English. These last few days, there’s been quite a nice yacht in Galway docks and out sailing in the bay. Apparently it’s a superyacht, according to Google. Well. it’s certainly very nice. Seeing its mast over the rooftops of the Claddagh as I’ve walked to work in the mornings has made think again about how strange the word yacht is.
Look at it there, with a silent ch and not caring who knows about it! It’s the only modern English word with a silent ch.
Pronouncing ch as the old Greek /k/ as in charisma, character and psyche? No problem.
Or with a soft, swishy French /ʃ/ as in machine, chef or machete? Oui, bien sûr!
But a silent ch!? It takes a really special word to get away with that. A word like yacht. Continue reading