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Friday, March 17, 2006

Google: Font Of All Knowledge

I couldn't live without Google. It answers more or less any questions I have (aside from the Great Yahoo Mail Spring Tableau Mystery - which Fire Blanket of course maintains is solved; I am in the process of evaluating his new evidence). In fact, Google is my first port of call on questions to such an extent that, when I recently thought to myself: "Where did I put the cable which connects my digital camera to my computer?" my first thought is "I'll Google it!"

This is proof that Google cannot in fact know everything. Further proof comes in a question I posed today: how does one go about pronouncing Tsotsi? This year's Best Foreign Film Oscar winner is out this weekend, and I want to go and see it.

But buying a ticket is going to prove difficult - because I don't know how to say "Tsotsi". And, being obsessive compulsive, I'm concerned that the person in the ticket office will wind up being an Afrikaans speaker, and thus fully aware of my shameful ignorance.

Google offers several different verdicts:

"Tsotsi," pronounced sot-si...
www.boxoffice.com/scripts/fiw. dll?GetReview?&where=ID&terms=8550

..."Tsotsi" (pronounced SOT-see)
www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/ c/a/2006/03/05/PKG56HDK7I1.DTL&type=movies

Tsotsi (pronounced Sawt-see)...
www.tsotsi.com/english/index.php?m1=reviews& m2=reviews&review=hollywoodelsewhere

South African film Tsotsi (pronounced 'sote-see')...
www.boxofficeguru.com/oscarspotlight2006d.htm

"Tsotsi" means gangster or thug in this slang - and is pronounced TOT-si...
www.news.yahoo.com/s/csm/otsotsi

Tsotsi (pronounced "TOW-see")...
www.mindsay.com/tags/tsotsi

“Tsotsi” (pronounced “tots” by the characters in the film) is an Afrikaans word meaning “thug”...
www.taemag.com/issues/articleid.19027/article_detail.asp

"Tsotsi" (pronounced sote-see)...
www.p076.ezboard.com/fpoliticalpalacefrm69.showMessage?topicID=320.topic

"Tsotsi" (pronounced with a hard "s")...
www.townonline.com/natick/ localRegional/view.bg?articleid=447914

Tsotsi (pronounced SOE-TSEE)...
www.reelblack.com/upcoming.htm

"Tsotsi" [pronounced TOT-si]...
www.christiansciencemonitor.com/ 2006/0302/p06s02-wogn.html

"Tsotsi" (pronounced "soht-see")...
www.tuftsdaily.com/news/2006/03/02/ Weekender/Weekender.Interview.Gavin.Hood-1650509.shtml

Tsotsi (pronunciation: the “ts” sound is like in “tsunami,” the “o” is long, and the “i” pronounced as a long “e”)...
www.playbackstl.com/index.php?option=com_ content&task=view&id=1712&Itemid=57


And that's just the first few hits...

In short, I'm none the wiser. I think I'll go with "sot-see", as this seems to be the most frequent suggestion. I tell you, I haven't had this many worries over pronouncing the name of a film since I went to see The Aristocrats. (Should one go with the American pronunciation since it's a US film, or the British since one's seeing it in the UK? Eventually I went with the former. I still don't know whether it was the right call)

Invariably, when I put this much pressure on myself when it comes to a film title, I wind up screwing up whatever pronunciation I had in mind in any case. So, if you work at the Ritzy Cinema and experience McReadie asking you for a ticket for "tits-go-see", or something similarly embarrassing, cut me some slack. I tried.

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