Written by Richard Morgan, co-author with Hywel Wyn Owen of the Dictionary of the Place-Names of Wales (2007) and Place-Names of Glamorgan (Welsh Academic Press, Cardiff 2018) and member of the Welsh Place-Name Society/Cymdeithas Enwau Lleoedd Cymru
In 2018 I started collecting evidence for a publication on the Place-Names of Carmarthenshire to match one which I published that year on Glamorgan. The purpose behind the publication is to draw attention to the importance of the subject in shedding light on our past. Whenever place-names hit the headlines it is usually about some argument over spelling or perhaps because an incomer has changed the name of a particular house without consulting anyone. Spelling should not be a serious issue if the place-name is Welsh because Welsh is a very consistent language. The problems start when a misspelling has been in use for a long time and efforts are made to regularise it in order to reduce duplication on sign-posts, official notices and maps. Sometimes it might be only a difference of a single letter or two and opposition may be founded on the false belief that a particular place-name has ‘always’ been spelt in a certain way. These arguments can usually be resolved by the Welsh Language Commissioner who consults local people, local authorities and language specialists.