Macron mania infects the Maori of Porirua

Unemployment among the Maori people of Porirua obviously has increased, and those without work have been keeping themselves busy by dreaming up provocative ways of pissing off their fellow pakeha citizens.

Alf draws this conclusion after learning there’s a push on to pepper place names around Porirua with macrons.

That’s not exactly how the plan has been introduced in a press statement from the Porirua City Council.

Nope. The council says that in the lead-up to Māori Language Week, several Māori have made submissions to Porirua City to support the Māori Language in local Māori place names.

This surprised Alf, who thought there were plenty of Maori names in the city already, including Michael Campbell Drive.

Let’s see. There’s Mana, and Titahi Bay, and Pauatahanui.

But silly old Alf missed the point.

It’s all about bloody macrons, which some Maori in Porirua reckon should be slipped into those place names.

Council asked for public feedback during June, and the feedback period closed last Friday (see—Events/Public-Consultation/Formalisation-of-Suburb-Names-and-Boundaries).

Several submissions were made, supporting two changes:

– to include macrons in Māori names where appropriate e.g. Pāuatahanui, Rānui, Paekākāriki, but no macron in Mana.

– to use bilingual names for current English names, like is done with Taranaki / Egmont and Mt Aoraki / Cook.

Macrons have been adopted by the Electoral Commission for several electorates such as Māngere and Tāmaki, so the submitters hope that the Porirua Council will adopt a similar policy.

The whānau in Porirua have also let tangata whenua know that they are making these submissions in support of local names.

Alf confesses to becoming bewildered at this juncture.
Who exactly are the whanau (resplendent with their own macron) and how are they distinguished from the tangata whenua?

Obviously he has much to learn.

That goes for his knowledge of bloody macrons, too.

The fascination for macrons in the name of cultural propriety fascinates him, because he suspects the indigenous people of this country had no knowledge of them until the Europeans turned up.

Actually, macrons are all Greek to Alf, which is understandable because at Wikipedia he learned:

A macron, from Greek μακρόv (makrón) meaning “long”, is a diacritic placed over or under a vowel, originally used to mark a long (i.e., heavy) syllable in Græco-Roman metrics, but now also indicates that the vowel is long. (The opposite is a breve ˘, used to indicate originally a short syllable and now also a short vowel.) Distinctions between long and short vowels are usually phonemic. In the International Phonetic Alphabet the macron is used to indicate mid tone; the sign for a long vowel is a modified triangular colon.

So why do the whanau (with a macron) of Porirua want to further complicate our lives, which already have become too complex for the likes of Alf, by throwing macrons across the geogropahical landscape?

And just how infectious is the urge to inject Greek squiggles into the language?

Where does the macron go in Eketahuna?

And other such profound questions.

But some sense (small) can be made of the push to give us macrons and double-jointed place names like Taranaki / Egmont . It’s that lots of signwriters will be needed to rewrite all the signs around the city, and plenty of other work will be generated in making the change.

Hence the buggers who dreamt up this idea will soon be back in work.

When gainfully re-employed – all going well – they will have no time to tamper with daft demands for needless change. Not until the next recession.

9 Responses to Macron mania infects the Maori of Porirua

  1. Whare Whero says:

    Tēnā koutou

    Well it seems that many of those who have been putting in submissions for the use of macrons are:
    – not from Porirua
    – not deliberately annoying non-Māori
    – not unemployed
    – fluent native speakers of te reo Māori
    – are professionals in their field of grammar, macron usage and publishing Māori medium text

    There has been, and will be more submissions encouraging the addition of the macron to PATAKA. This submission and the others are not in relation to the other requests for macrons in Māori words/place names but full support given to those who have submitted.

  2. Alf Grumble says:

    So what impels out-of-town smart-arses to come in to a city and tell the locals how they should be running the place? Next bloody thing you know, they will be demanding the “h” be removed from Whitby or some such nonsense, although more likely they will want Whitby replaced by an indigenous place-name that only they can pronounce correctly.

  3. Anahera says:

    oh and one more thing, Mana does not have a macron, it’s mispronounced by many as Maana, it is not a long vowel is a short vowel so the correct pronunciation is Mana not Maana, in the same way that Tana Umaga is short vowel.

    But i wouldn’t expect you to understand that, your igonorance shouldn’t be at the cost of our suffering, get and education for goodness sake

  4. Alf Grumble says:

    1. Nowhere in my post did I say Mana should have a macron. To the contrary, I quoted the city council press statement, which noted there was no call for a macron in Mana.

    2. My ignorance about many things is a problem, it’s true, Anahera. But I know how to spell “ignorance” correctly, and I know that the “i” should be capitalised when one writes “I wouldn’t expect you to understand…” and I would advise someone who tells me to “get and education” to get an education. In English, at least.

    3. In the normal course of events I would say those spelling mistakes are no big deal, and I wouldn’t bother mentioning them, because I can understand exactly what Anahera is telling me. Effective communication does not require us to employ perfect spelling and grammar whenever we write. Nor does it demand bloody macrons (except, it seems, to ethnocentric nit-pickers).

  5. Adolf Fiinkensein says:

    Kia ora Alf

    I’m pleased to advise that a macron is a name given to morons from Scotland.

    That’s about the level at which this debate deserves to be carried on.

    To Messrs Whare Whero and Anahera, I say go and sort out you people’s disgraceful penchant for family violence and child murder before you come around here or anywhere else, trying to lecture me on how I should read or write your fucking place names.

    Haere ko e ki te tiko.

  6. Papa Tuanuku says:

    hi guys,

    good on Anahera and Whare Whero. Kia kaha ki a korua. Hau, what’s the big deal – you wouldn’t like auckland with a small a or palmy with a small p.

    We just want our reo to be honoured by you fullas. Join the party guys, u know its all good.

  7. Alf Grumble says:

    Frankly, I couldn’t give a toss if Auckland is spelled with a capital A or a small a or a bloody Chardonnay. Just so long as we all know what city we are talking about when we disparage the bloody place. I get a tad more twitchy about being called a “fulla”, but not enough to impel me to haul in the authorities to make Papa Tuanuku spell it correctly.

  8. John Rotten says:

    Macrons are neccessary Just as wellengton spelling correctly lets you know the word is a real word. If you dont know the language why worry -stay ignorant to it and dont bother everyone else with your rascism.

  9. Alf Grumble says:

    Oh, dear. What a load of bollocks. John Rotten should learn the basics of written communication and good grammar before he frets about the need for bloody macrons. He should learn how to string a few words together correctly, where and when to put a full point at the end of a sentence, and how to spell words like Wellington (with a capital W) and racism (with just one s). Getting so much wrong in so few words is – well, remarkable. Accordingly Alf is tempted to suspect John Rotten hasn’t a clue what a macron looks like and what purpose it serves.

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