Thursday, December 2, 2010

CH not H

Yes, I am one of those who care that the period is inside the quotes and not outside of them.  I reserve the right to spell judgement with an e.  I prefer MLA over APA.  It hurts my eyes to see the word cannot split in half.  I still use phrases in business writing like Pursuant to your request and the aforementioned item.  And yes, during this time of year, I want to gouge my eyes out like Oedipus when I see Chanukah spelled with an h (yes, I am referring to the popular spelling "Hanukkah.")

You see, Chanukah is spelled like this in Hebrew: .חנוכה

Generally speaking, the hey looks like this ה and is transliterated like this:  h.  Note that hey is located at the END of the word Chanukah; hence, there is an "h" at the end of the transliterated word.  It has the hhhh sound as in "her" or "hat."

Generally speaking, the chet looks like this ח and is translated like this: ch.  Note the chet is located at he BEGINNING of the word Chanukah; hence, there should be a "ch" and not an "h" at the beginning.  The chet is pronounced by saying h from the back of the throat and closing the throat, slightly choking the sound.  Think of the German sound used to pronounce Bach or the Scottish word Loch.

So there you have it, friends.  Chanukah should be transliterated as C H A N U K A H!

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