Tuesday, 27 March 2007

A Linguistic Bangkock-Up!

Bangkok people on Bangkok boat on Bangkok river

Journalists in the otherwise excellent English language press in Bangkok have a funny habit of needing a collective noun for people from Bangkok. Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner or a Brummie or a Mancunian, that I too feel that there should be such a word. But what is it?

The one they tend to use is Bangkokian and that sounds just awful. It couldn’t be much worse. Or could it? How about Bangkoker? Or Bangkokite?

Or maybe we should try a gender distinction… hence he’s a Bangcock, in which case she’d have to be a Bang-hen. But no that doesn’t work either.

Krung Theppid works as an adjective perhaps, except that Bangkok’s never in any way tepid. But you could never call them Krung Theppites.

Or how about something relating to The City of Angels? What’s a dude from Los Angeles called? A Los Angel? I’ve no idea.

How about Phukettites, Saraburians, Nakon Ratchasimarians, or Kanchanaburians? Not to mention the problem with folks from Mahasarakam, Sakhon Nakon or Nakhon Sawan.

I think it’s a losing battle and when it comes down to it, journalists and people like me had better stick to calling people who come from Bangkok precisely what they are. So delete ‘Bangkokians’ and let's settle instead for ‘Bangkok people’. Sounds much better and won’t unsettle your dentures.

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