Some seasoned newscasters on TVM have the irritating habit of pronouncing the phonetically unvoiced consonants at the end of a word as if they were voiced. So they say bieb instead of biep, bard instead of bart, messaġġ instead of messaċċ, Grieg instead of Griek, ċerv instead of ċerf, and so on.

They probably think this is the way these words should be pronounced because that’s how they are written. They are wrong and someone should tell them.

Second gripe. Why are parish priests and festa organisers changing the popular Maltese names of our patron saints and replacing them by their Italian counterparts? Overnight Santa Liena morphs into Sant’Elena, San Anard becomes San Leonardu, il-Lunzjata changes to l-Annunzjata, Tal-Karmnu to Tal-Karmelu, and so on.

Soon it will be the turn of San Filep, Sant’”Wstin, San Girgor and Santurrokku to suffer the same fate. Their days are numbered.

This is all a result of linguistic snobbery, the same kind of misguided prescriptive practice that refers to the Granaries as Il-Fosos tal-Floriana. And please don’t mention Pietro Floriani. I know the story.

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