Among the many sacrifices I make to serve as a councillor, missing University Challenge is, in the grand scheme of things, not exactly life-changing. Still, when your alma mater is on one of the most successful runs in series history (semi-finalists each year since 2005 with three finals appearances and two-ish wins) and you had more than a little to do with that, there's an emotional bond that makes it hard to give yourself up to the delights of group meetings (two Mondays a month here in Cardiff.) And while there is always iPlayer, it's not the same when you've missed your institution in the most hyped final in history as I did earlier this year.
Still, occasionally you're rewarded for sticking with it and I thought I was going to be tonight when the boy Paxo opened up a set of bonuses with, "Which British city includes the wards of Adamsdown, Butetown..." Apart from decrying the laziness of the question setter in using the wards in alphabetical order, I thought all was well.
There then followed the most painful mangling of Cardiffian mispronunciation I've heard in quite some time. To set the record straight, it's CAN-tun (not can-TON) and ka-TAY-ze (not KATH-ays). Given that little display I'm unsurprised the poor Loogabaroogans misidentified it as Manchester (although in fairness, they might have noticed that none of those names are nearly northern enough...) But then it got worse, for the next two bonus questions were about the same ward.
My ward. Which apparently is called hlan-DARFF, so much so he said it twice.
Now unless it has it's hat on (as in Cwmbrân) that vowel sound is an ah, so in Welsh it hlan-DAHV and in English it usually becomes LAN-dahff.
Still, thanks for trying, I suppose...
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