Since we’re all talking and writing about Paul Erdős today, I just thought I’d make a little post clearing up how to write, and how to say, his name.
How to write Paul Erdős
The ő has a couple of little swishes above it. It’s not an o-umlaut ö; it’s a double-acute ő. I don’t think there’s a keyboard shortcut for it in Windows; I normally get it by googling “Erdos”, or using Shapecatcher.
If you want to be really really correct, his name is written in the original Hungarian as Erdős Pál.
In LaTeX, his name is written as
How to say Paul Erdős
You can get away with pronouncing ‘Paul’ how you normally do. ‘Pál’ is written [paːl]; in IPA – the ‘a’ is a long ‘ah’, like how a Southerner would pronounce ‘father’.
‘Erdős’ is pronounced, roughly, ‘air-dursh’. In IPA, it’s [ˈɛrdøːʃ]; – ‘e’ as in ‘bed’, a rolled ‘r’, ‘d’, ‘ur’ as in ‘nurse’, and ‘sh’ as in ‘ship’. Make your best effort at saying it that way, but we won’t mind if you don’t get it perfect.
Now that’s cleared up. As you were!