Monday, 30 April 2012

The Reign in Thpain

It is said that the Spanish pronunciation of ‘s’ as ‘th’ originated in the 16th Century from a collective desire of the people not to want their lisping king, Philip II, to feel special. An envoy would have gone round saying we’re all going to lisp now, everyone,  thtarting from now; that meanth you and the retht of Thpain. Got it?
‘I can’t do that. I’ll sound like a girl,’ says one touchy male subject of the Spanish kingdom.
‘Well that might sound politically correct now but sometime in the future, believe me, it will not.’
‘Not doing it.’
‘Look just because you lisp doesn’t automatically mean you’re effeminate.’
And the envoy was right because Mike Tyson has a lisp and he was the kind of person who could beat you to a pulp and eat your ears.
‘And anyway you already started lisping without knowing it,’ adds the envoy.
‘How?’
‘You, everyone, you’ve all been calling our monarch, King Philip. His real name’s ‘Silip’.’
‘Silip?’
‘Yeah, think about it. He’s got a lisp. He’s been trying to tell people for years.’ (CLICK ON 'Read more' LINK, BELOW)


In the modern era we got the king to shoulder the responsibility for correcting his speech. We found that instead of reaching out to correct the population, it was more cost-effective to tackle one person’s denial. George VI of England didn’t have a lisp – otherwise we’d have watched ‘The King’s Thpeech’ – but a stutter. Had he adopted the King Phil approach, we would have had the British people stuttering, spelling dire consequences for the learning of English in foreign countries. In schools, a half-hour lesson would have been taken up with the children greeting their teacher: ‘Ge-ger-ger-ger-ger-good mer-mer-mer-mer-morning Mer-mer-mer-miss’; followed by ‘Ger-good mer-morning, cher-children. Per-pack up yer-your ber-books and things ner-now, the-there’s the ber-bell fer-for end of ler-lesson.’
The King P lisp story is contended. Really, did a whole populace change their pronunciation for the sake of their ruler? Are we to believe that a king with a different kind of speech defect could have the same impact? Say, a king with Tourette’s? Surely not. But then there did used to be kings of Scotland…

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