Thursday, 28 October 2010

Proper Pronunciation

I was listening to a piece on BBC Radio Four's Today Programme an hour ago about pronunciation and "how English has evolved", a subject fairly close to Timothy Belmont's heart. Perhaps I am being too pedantic and intolerant. They tell me that, in many cases, some pronunciation of certain words is neither correct nor incorrect. It is simply "old-fashioned" on one hand; trendy on the other.

Old-fashioned or traditional? I know a few of my strengths and many weaknesses. I reckon that I could safely be placed in the Traditional Category here.

Har-ass? No. Har-ass! Mischievous, as in miss-chiv-us? Yes. Mis-cheev-i-us? Absolutely not, at least according to Nuttall's Standard English Dictionary.

Heaven knows what our children are being taught. And, indeed, there is a difference between our Classic English and American English.


belfast cabby said...

Ulster folk have never spoken classic English as we have enough mispronunciations of are own.

My favourites are safety pronounced safe-a-day.

The worst of the lot spaghetti pronounced ba-sketti

its enough to make you cry

Timothy Belmont said...

Ha ha! Very good. It's a case of You say tom-ay-toe and I say tom-ahhhh-toe!

Sandy said...

"The Rev." would be very proud of you!

Timothy Belmont said...

I have such fond memories of the Rev.

Such integrity and he set us all such a great example, didn't he?

Anonymous said...

On radion 5 last week Colin Murray another Ulster born BBC type in the space of 2 minutes said 'went' instead of 'gone' and begun instead of began.
A part time waitress in my golf club last week had just received her Masters. When asked what she studied she said 'I done......'
That says it all.

Timothy Belmont said...


As you say, that says it all! Standards have, sadly, slipped downwards inexorably.

It's up to us to endeavour to maintain them.