Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Saturday, September 25, 2004

  Taht's all folks

In the original Estonian, Täht means "Star or planet".

I've been more than a little bugged about the profusion of software that insists on respelling my name from Taht to "That", automagically. I used to blame Microsoft for this "innovation", but now every stinking piece of software with a spell checker in it - all of them, commercial, and open source, etc - insist on "fixing" my name for me.

It's infuriating. I tried for an hour last night to convince my expense report form to STOP RESPELLING MY FREAKING NAME and finally scribbled it in by hand.

So, saturday, I realized that maybe, just maybe, if the word itself made it across to English, I might get a little relief from my plight. I fired off emails to Dictionary.com, Rhymezone, and Mirriam-Webster, and asked that they put "Taht" in their lexicon....

No replies yet. That's the problem with top down control - somebody, somewhere, has to approve the word, agree that it exists, pass it into the database, get it past an editor, go on an all expenses paid junket to Estonia to determine the etymology, and then wait for 5 years for the next edition of the dictionary to be published.

Screw all that. I put it in the Wikipedia myself.

Instant satisfaction. Striking a blow for all the stars and planets I am!

Almost imediately "Taht" was reviewed for possible deletion and suggested that it move to the Wiktionary instead - which I'll do as soon as I figure out the coding guidelines.

Instant satisfaction. While my request winds through the bowels of a conventional dictionary publisher... probably never to be emerge again...

btw:

The most comprehensive guide to the english language - Oxford English Dictionary, is only available via subscription. Somehow I doubt Taht's in there either. Anybody know?

 
Comments:
Hey pal! The Santa Cruz Library has an OED subscription that you can use if you have a library card and a PIN, and I know you have the first one and suspect you have the second. You go to www.santacruzpl.org, then click "Reference Databases", then "Oxford English Dictionary".

The answer to your question is, "taht" isn't there as a defined word, but it does show up as a early spelling of "taught" in some Middle English passages.
 
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