The Edappaadee Pazhanichaamee government in Thamizh Naaduu has officially altered the English names of districts, towns and villages in the state to reflect their EXACT Tamil pronunciation. This means Coimbatore is now Koyampuththoor, Vellore is Veeloor, Sholinganallur is Solinganalloor and Mylapore is now Mayilaappoor.
The news came as a surprise to many as the Government Order, notified on April 1, was made public on Wednesday evening. As many as 1,018 places will now have the new spellings. While most districts have not undergone name changes, many historic areas in Chennai city have had their English spellings changed to reflect the multiple ooâ€™s and aaâ€™s of the ancient language.
While the changes provide a joke break in these dark times, lesser mortals in the state, however, have been concerned as the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching terrifying new peaks every day with just the reported cases at 36,841. But hey, Vilupuram is now Vizhuppuram, Tiruvarur is Thiruvaroor, Tuticorin is Thooththukkudi and Pudukkottai is now Puthukkottai. Can we really be asking for anything mooore during this global pandemic? Dharmapuri is Tharumapuri and Ariyalur is Ariyaloor too!
According to the GO, the new names have been picked after a high-level expert committee considered suggestions of district collectors who recommended a list of places that needed name changes. The expert committeeâ€™s final names for places, however, is one step beyond even what the bureaucrats recommended â€” for VOC Nagar was recommended to be changed to Va Vu C Nagar, but is now Va Oo Si Nagar. Would VO Chidambaram Pillai, the man who fought the British and competed with them on the high seas like to be abbreviated to â€˜come needle townâ€™?
In the state capital, Saithaappettai, Ambaththoor, Eekkattuththaangal and Gindi Poongaa replace the old names, deemed unfit by the Tamil Development and Information Department, for the ears of a Tamilian.
Is there an essential problem with the new spellings? Not really. While many of the names are fine with the new spelling, the thing is, they were just fine with the old spelling too.
The booster pack, however, couldnâ€™t have come at a better time. With the state government under pressure with bed shortages and high disease numbers, the move to change names, notify them, is just what we need right now. However, there is ambiguity over whether local bodies will have to accept the alterations.
Anyway, Tamil minds would be lost on how to say 'Nandambakkam' without the new spelling of Nandambaakkam and god forbid, miss the extra a!
This piece is satire, news is not.