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Ay-yah-fyah-What?

by John Asante
Apr 19, 2010

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The large, cloudy plumes of volcanic ash emitted from the Iceland volcano continue to cause problems worldwide. And the coverage from all over the globe has been quite extensive on many fronts — from the amount of money airlines are losing each day, to the wilting of produce in Kenya.

But when it comes to pronouncing the name of said volcano, well, it's not as easy as sounding out the syllables. Check out the video above to find out just how to pronounce Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced AY-yah-fyah-lah-YOH-kuul) volcano — and the reporters' attempts that follow. (If you listen closely at 0:20, you hear the reporter let out what sounds like a sigh before he tries his luck at the pronunciation.)

As soon as I watched the video, I had an immediate flashback to the college radio world. All the DJs would struggle to pronounce the name of any song by the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros. (Their last album, entitled Med sud ieyrum vid spilum endalaust, was a doozy). Oh, those where the days....

Anyways, if you're concerned about more than just the name of the volcano, look no further. Two of NPR's science correspondents — Joe Palca and Richard Harrisshared their analysis on the short- and long-term effects of the eruption on our show today.

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