Tuesday, March 01, 2011

silly automatic

I'm not a regular listener of the Shipping Forecast, unlike, apparently, many Britons if Wikipedia is to be believed. But I tune in at work occasionally when I think of it, and need a break from writing technical documents for The Man and the Blueshirts.

I get a kick out of some of the names mentioned in the Shipping Forecast, especially Scilly Automatic.

"Scilly" from the Isles of Scilly, just off the coast of Cornwall, which I somehow have never heard of until now. And the name is pronounced "silly" which is awesome.

And "Automatic" because it's a radio station whose conditions are reported automatically.

There are many Automatic weather stations as can be seen in this Wiki list of coastal weather stations of the United Kingdom.

The best part of Scilly Automatic is that the announcers on the Shipping Forecast don't pronounce the second word like Americans do: "aw-da-MAH-dik", they pronounce it "AWT-a-MAT-tik" with that typical Received Pronounciation extra hard "t" sound. It makes "silly automatic" sound even sillier. And until you find out it's simply a radio station with automatic weather updates from the Isles of Scilly, it sounds completely Python-esque.

Another favorite name is Lyme Regis which is a village in Dorset - where else? - but it sounds like a delicious citrus-based dessert to me.