Monday, March 24, 2014

Dear English-Language Media: Please #RespectTheÑ

Zoë Saldaña. . . Michael Peña. . . 
Piña Colada. . . Jalapeño. . . Piñata. . . 
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!. . . El Niño y La Niña . . . .

Check out this blog by the Rebeldes over at Latino Rebels regarding the the common mistake (some would say disregard) of the Spanish letter Ñ (known as eñe or enye) by English language media by clicking here.

Ñ (or lowercase ñ) is a separate letter in the Spanish alphabet. It is the 15th letter, after N and before O, alphabetically.
• The squiggly line over the N in the letter Ñ is called a tilde.
• In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), it is represented as /ɲ/ and is called a palatal nasal.
• Historically, "ñ" arose as a ligature of "nn": the tilde was shorthand for the second "n", written over the first (it developed in the same way the "w" arose from a doubled "v").
• Ñ has its own place on Spanish-language computer keyboards, to the right of the L.
• Besides Spanish, the ñ is also used in the Galician, Asturian, Basque, Filipino, Chamorro, Guaraní, Mapudungún alphabets (among others).
• Other Romance languages have the palatal nasal sound but use different orthography for it (French and Italian use "gn", Portuguese and Occitan use "nh", Catalán uses "ny").
• When Morse Code was extended beyond English, there was a code specifically created for ñ ( — — · — — ), although it is rarely, if at all, used in English.
• For those who don't speak Spanish, the ñ is used when saying the first syllable of the words "onion" and "canyon".

The "Ñ" is not an archaeological piece of junk, but just the opposite: a cultural leap of a Romance language that left the others behind in expressing with only one letter a sound that other languages continue to express with two. 

–Nobel Prize winning novelist 

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