October 27, 2009
by Graham
6 Comments

Evenin’ All

Many of yesterday’s British papers (e.g. here, here, here, here and here) reported on Warwickshire Police’s handbook “Policing Our Communities”, with headlines that were critical of the Political Correctness inferred from statements such as “Don’t assume those words for the … Continue reading

October 20, 2009
by Graham
9 Comments

Fixed and Free

Stress in English is often said to be “fixed and free”, by which is meant that for each word it is fixed, but that there is no fixed position in the word where it must occur, unlike Czech, Finnish or … Continue reading

October 4, 2009
by Graham
1 Comment

Latin for choirs

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to pronounce Latin when you’re speaking English, the next problem comes up for singers. It’s not only English that has its own version of Latin pronunciation, but every language in Europe has its idiosyncratic … Continue reading

September 22, 2009
by Graham
1 Comment

More on Latin in English (2)

In the middle of the nineteenth century, following the great strides made in philology, the teaching of Latin in schools began to use a reconstructed “Classical” Latin pronunciation. This ‘restored’ the long and short vowel sounds of Latin to /iː, … Continue reading

September 21, 2009
by Graham
0 comments

More on Latin in English

The pronunciation of Latin words and phrases in an English-speaking context is quite complicated, because three separate traditions clash, making it difficult to be consistent. John Wells has been writing about this recently, here, here and here. First there is … Continue reading

August 7, 2009
by Graham
9 Comments

Email etiquette

A couple of years ago, when the television film about my brother’s death was making headlines, I had an email from a Sky News journalist, wanting to interview me. It began “Hi Graham”. The woman writing had never heard of … Continue reading

July 31, 2009
by Graham
10 Comments

Deprecated

This blog is hosted by WordPress, whose own development blog today has this: “The WordPress team had initially committed to maintaining the WordPress 2.0.x legacy branch until 2010. Unfortunately, we bit off more than we could chew—the 2.0.x branch is … Continue reading

July 3, 2009
by Graham
1 Comment

More on money

Following on from my previous post on money, it occurred to me that 1½d was almost always pronounced three ha’pence, and less often a penny ha’penny while 1½p was always one and a half pence. The abbreviation for the old … Continue reading

June 29, 2009
by Graham
5 Comments

Iranian

With this word in the news almost every day at the moment, we are hearing two pronunciations from British broadcasters: /ıˈreınıən/ and /ıˈrɑːnıən/. The first of these is, I think, the majority pronunciation, but the second is heard from many … Continue reading