A Texas-based language expert group said Eyjafjallajoekull, the Icelandic volcano paralysing air traffic recently, appears 2 million times on Google but can be pronounced by only 320,000 people.
Paul J.J. Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor, said Eyjafjallajoekull is unlikely to appear in English-language dictionaries anytime soon.
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There are many examples of proper names becoming common words, including caesarian section, named after Julius Caesar, who was ‘plucked from his mother’s womb’ or saxophone after its Belgian inventor Adolphe Sax. Such words are called ‘eponyms’ and are quite common in all languages. Eyjafjallajoekull, however, is unlikely to make such a career.
The Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas, documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language the world over, with a particular emphasis upon Global English.
Find out about the correct pronunciation of Eyjafjallajoekull and many other interesting things related to the media, words and the impact of language on various aspects of culture on the website of the Global Language Monitor.
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