Spelling Kyiv Properly

Attentive readers  may have noticed that, in my entry yesterday, I initially spelled the name of the Ukrainian capital Kiev but later changed it to Kyiv. This is because my Mum contacted me yesterday evening to remind me that ‘Kiev’ is the russian spelling, whereas Ukrainians prefer to spell it Kyiv, so we should adopt their spelling as a mark of solidarity. Mum was right of course, and I was more than happy to change it. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, but I just came across this article in the London Economic. Rather cooly, Sainsbury’s are now changing the spelling on their Chicken Kyiv packaging to the Ukrainian spelling. I think that is rather awesome, and worth noting here. We need to show solidarity and unity with those being attacked so callously in whatever way we can, even if it’s just how we spell the names of their cities. While changing how we spell names and words may not sound like much when people are suffering so horribly, on a cultural or semiotic level, it shows that we stand with the oppressed not the oppressor.

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