Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Karthik comes from South India.. do AnitHa, ShrutHi, AnantH and NitHin..

What's with the extra H that South Indians add to all their names? I've heard countless non South Indians ask with so much shock it amazes me. And then they say that if you spell it AnitHa it's actually A-ni-thhha (you know, thhh of thhhumb, or thhhirst). Its supposed to be Anita.

First, what warrants so much surprise?
Second, supposed to be ??
Third, .... so???

I'd like to clear this up here on this space: It's just the way we spell! So there! Say, how do you pronounce water? Tomato? Terrace? Tamatar?

So is it OK to use the single 't' for the sound of t from tea? Well, we think so too! :)
Then we add an extra H to soften that hard T.

Its as simple as that.

UPDATE/EDIT/DISCLAIMER (a side effect of being surrounded by too many north Indians :P): I'm NOT saying this is the correct way to spell. I'm saying it's not incorrect. I'm saying its OK either way. I'm saying what's the big deal??


  1. Also, we are softer people by heart. Having said that since my name does not have an H, I do pass for a north Indian very easily. Add to that the lack of any accent. :)

  2. :) sort of the same thing with me.. which is why I hear the South Indian spelling argument more often than I would like! Else they might give consideration to the fact that I _may_ be offended.

  3. ha ha.. I've come across this a lot of time. Most of the time it was my own name, and email getting bounced because people thought there is no 'h' after 't'... :) We even had a debate on south - north pronunciation..

  4. How about this one: When you go to Church Street next time, check out your favourite Vegetable Rolls place, which reads, "Khaati Zone".
    Would you say that is not incorrect too?? :)

  5. @Nishant: wow.. finally :) someone who has been on the same boat :) worse in fact :(

    @Ashish: See this is what happens when you give the banner design to someone who doesn't _know_ Hindi.. its not about his views about how it is spelled here!

  6. As someone who has the extra H, I can relate to this. I am a telugu, and had the same confused/frustrated comment from my husband who is a kannadiga who thinks this fixation with the extra H is very telugu or tamil! It took him a while to get used to the extra H and he has finally made peace with it. :D

    You hit it on the head. It helps to soften it and most importantly... What is the big deal??

    Also, Vinni says he passes off for "north Indian" because he has no accent! Really? If anything South Indians have a more cultured English accent than North Indians (northies speak less in English and more in hindi to start with!). It is not much of a compliment to get passed off as North Indian, imo.

  7. @Rach:.. you too ate my "h" ! :)

  8. you could also backlink my travel blog, if you prefer
    we are still trying... :-)