Letter: Tnaiste by any other name

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The Independent Online
Sir: How long does it take for an Irish term to gain currency on this side of the water? We now seem to be comfortable with the word Taoiseach, despite its outlandish spelling. Yet the admirable and conscientious Dick Spring is invariably referred to in the UK media as the "Irish Deputy Prime Minister", rather than the Tnaiste. The word is relatively easy to spell and pronounce and, in any case, is already in our dictionaries in the form of tanist ("The heir apparent of a Celtic chieftain ... usually the worthiest of his kin").

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Greenwood

London, N22

26 January