How to spell VENETIAN correctly … !

 

We are used to thinking phonetically, especially with the type of grassroots language forms used in current times on social media.  Visitors to the UK often complain about how our spelling so rarely seems to match the accepted pronunciation.  (We Brits are used to it, of course, having incorporated so much alien vocabulary from invaders).

Logically we might expect Venecian to be the right spelling to describe people/products originating from Venice.

 

Venetian, however, is basically the adjective from VENETO,  the wider region, rather than Venice, the small city isolated in its lagoon.  (And the Italian word for Venice – if you’re unaware – is actually Venezia).   Due to the marble quarries where key ingredients for the plaster are found.

 

The specific language of this region is also called Venetian (or Venetan): used by almost 5 million inhabitants, and also those who have emigrated to other continents.  It has its own precise grammar, so not merely a dialect of the mother tongue Italian.

This word entered English usage during the 15th century with military and upper-class travel and new trade routes.  Once established, very hard to change, if that were a valid goal.

 

*Compare station:  of Latin/Roman origin (statio), passing through France where it became stacione, (and in Spanish estacion)But the French call Venice Venise, and Venetian, VenitienWe understand that vocabulary items are passed through a cultural filter and settle into the linguistic sediment.

 

Nobody will be penalised for failing to spell it the conventional way – but you may be interested to know.