22 November 2010


When my cousin Joaquin was in town a couple of weeks ago, he told me about this curious, hilarious, embarrasing linguistic trend happening in Mexico among some [lesser educated] people...

So HD TVs are more and more commonplace everywhere, and therefore the demand for high def channels has increased as well.  He says there are a few of the big channels that are offered in high def for free--accessible to the whole nation.

In the corner of the TV channel, just like here, it says "HD".

People know this means "alta definicion" (literally "high definition") but they do not know how to spell ALTA.  Since all Hs are silent in Spanish, they assume HD stands for "halta definicion"--which is hilarious, and sad. 

I found this ad (with prices listed in Euros, so this linguistic phenomenon must be happening in Spain, too).

I can only assume this is how language and spelling evolves.  Once it becomes common enough in the populus' vernacular, it becomes correct. We have examples of this all over the place.

I'm secretly afraid English speakers will eventually forget "lite" is not the correct spelling of "light."

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