In a surpraising move, Tamil Nadu government Wednesday issued a notification changing the English spellings of 1018 places in the state to match their pronunciations in Tamil. While the names of some places were reverted to their original Tamil names, others underwent a spelling change.
Next time when you see the name of a city or town in Tamil Nadu spelt differently, don’t think it has something to do with numerology, but it is actually phonetics that is behind the change. And the citizens have to learn the new spellings of the city/town/locality where they live.
For instance, Dharmapuri Parliamentary constituency will now be spelt Tharumapuri, Tuticorin as Thooththukkudi, Vellore as Veeloor, Tiruvarur as Thiruvaroor, textile town Coimbatore will be spelt as Koyambuththoor and there are many more like this.Interestingly the government has not changed the name or spelling for Srivilliputtur, though the district administration had suggested it be called and spelt as Thiruvillipuththur.
In Tamil Nadu, politicians prefer the Tamil word ‘Thiru’ instead of the Sanskrit “Shri/Sri”. Strangely, the government has retained the name and spelling for Gingee though it the town is known as Senji and the district administration too recommended the same.The government order follows an announcement in the Assembly two years ago that anglicised names of the areas be changed closer to their original names in Tamil.