Saturday, 3 September 2011

A colonoscopy has nothing to do with Uranus, or does it?

I'm not going to explore the ins and outs of the colonoscopy. Suffice to say I had one on Friday (my mum had colon cancer so I'm also at risk) and the best thing about it was being knocked out and waking up again to a cup of milky tea and a tuna and salad sandwich.

The colonoscopy got me thinking about Uranus. Traditionally the seventh planet from the Sun was pronounced 'Yoor-ay-nus'. 

But somewhere along the way I suspect the Americans, god bless their cotton socks, decided this was too crude and changed it to 'Yoor-uh-nuhs'. notes Uranus, when pronounced this way, can become confused with the word 'urinous'. 

Thing is, it was always pronounced 'YOOR-AY-NUS' when I was growing up. What the frick is wrong with that? 

When I point at the night sky and say, "Uranus is somewhere out there" no one is going to become confused about my meaning. Let's behave like adults. How often do I (or you) talk to others about their anuses. "By the way, how's your anus?" Mmm, maybe in certain circles...

That conveniently brings me to the word 'route'. In the song Route 66, made famous by Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones, route was pronounced 'root', making it a homophone. But that's all changed with the introduction of the word 'rowt' for 'route'. 

I still say, "What root/route are you taking?" 

The meaning is clear enough. And if I were to say, "I feel like a root" it's obvious I'm not talking about hopping on a bus, although it does sound as though I'm hoping to embark on another type of physical journey.

My final gripe is with ARSEHOLE. Why is it spelt 'asshole'? An ass is a donkey. But now it's also a bum. What's wrong with 'arsehole'? Wikipedia notes that 'arse may refer to the British/Irish English vulgarism for the buttocks...'

Which brings me full circle: back to Uranus. 

The end. 


Eleni Konstantine said...

Thank goodness someone else agrees with ass not being your butt and being a donkey. :))

Whenever I see it in a book, I always add an R to it!

And yes, I've always pronounced it as 'Uranus'.

Hope you keep well.

Shayne said...

Yay Eleni,
It's you and me against the donkeys' bottoms!

Anonymous said...

I remember Wendy Harmer on TV talking about travelling from London up to Edinburgh to go to the comedy festival.

"What route did you take?" she was asked.

"Oh, some young bloke i met in the pub," she replied (or something like that).

Shayne said...

Very funny. Could have used it in the blog post!

Shayne said...
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