To: John Peet <email@example.com>
Cc: Edward Lucas <EdwardLucas@economist.com>, Andrew Rashbass <AndrewRashbass@economist.com>, Caroline Carter <CarolineCarter@economist.com>, Daniel Franklin <DanielFranklin@economist.com>, John Micklethwait <JohnMicklethwait@economist.com>, Johnny Grimond <JohnnyGrimond@economist.com>, Letters to the Editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sheila Allen <SheilaAllen@economist.com>
Subject: Re: Errata
Dear Mr Peet,
Now I don't know whom should I address within The Economist. In this Christmas edition your paper was writing both Kiev and Kyiv. Sorry, I did not get until the end of the issue when I wrote my previous letter.
So, in the Christmas section, [ name.ly in "Hi there" http://www.economist.com/world/internat ... d=15108779
], The Economist refers to the city as Kyiv:
""" “We suspect that this is because she has been well brought up in Kyiv,” he says, referring to the Ukrainian capital. """
Please don't take my tone as offensive, still I have enjoyed reading the Christmas section more than the European one.
I will answer your question, and I expect that out of courtesy and politeness, you will also answer the question I asked you many times before, but only saw the focus shifted to completely irrelevant topics. Let us stay on the track when discussing the name of the capital of Ukraine in English language.
Kyiv wise, we (the whole world) are in a transitional period. Some people did change, some are changing, some are lagging behind. As we have discussed it with Mr Lucas, there is a positive trend that Kyiv spelling is catching up. Ask Mr Lucas, he knows all the arguments.
Take Facebook and Twitter, two companies with hundred million users. They did not look at each other when I asked them the very same question about Kyiv [1, 2]. They did not count how many people did write Kiev or Kyiv in past. They saw a country of some 45 million people asking politely for a change, thus they have honoured the request. They considered the facts, did their field studies for a months or two and concluded that, today, on the official level, Kyiv is the modern spelling of the capital of Ukraine. In English language at least.
I guess, in case of The Economist, this discussion goes for a decade because people like you never ever tried to listen to the other side but just refused any sort of healthy dialogue and never considered a possibility to change.
To answer your question on why Financial Times is still writing it the old way. Because there, like within The Economists, they still have "internal discussions". There are few guys on the top of organisation that block it. Please ask them why they do it. I do not know. They never answered the question.
Chrystia Freeland, Yuri Bender, Roman Olearchyk, and many others try to write Kyiv. I don't know who is blocking. Hugh Carnegy and Stefan Wagstyl pretend to take the neutral position. Frankly, I do not read FT that often, so I am following on what is going on there Kyiv wise from my other City colleagues.
In any case, many journalists and editors favour Kyiv. Even your paper writes it occasionally. Somehow those who know very little about the matter do not listen to the logical arguments and facts and do not want to change. Just so very bureaucratic if you ask me. Ping-ponging the issue will not solve it.
Now, there is a question I want you to answer. Why did you adopt Moldova, Belarus, Chisinau, Almaty ... but not Kyiv? Why Beijing, Myanmar, Mumbai, but not Kyiv? Why did many organisation listen and changed?
Here is the map of Ukraine published by the U.N. [ http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/ma ... kraine.pdf
] It says Kyiv. It is Kyiv on all modern English maps. It is Kyiv indeed. What is you personal stand of not to change? I have an impression that you like to trade few more horses with people like Ms Tymoshenko and Mr Putin.
Personally, I do not want to offend you Mr Peet, but every time you write Kiev, it hurts your readers. Consider it next time your paper misspells the Ukrainian geographical names again. Expect follow-up letters, or just adopt the modern name. Like The Economist Christmas section did. You see, it is very easy and doesn't take much of unnecessary resistance.
I wish you all very well for 2010. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year indeed.
Herewith, my best regards,
 http://kyiv.of-cour.se/2009/10/20/faceb ... -spelling/