April 24, 2009
by Graham

Blaenau Gwent

Mark Easton, the BBC’s Home Editor, reported on the employment situation in this constituency on Wednesday, 22 April, Budget Day here in Britain. However, he did not do his homework properly, for he made the classic mistake of non-Welsh speakers … Continue reading

April 20, 2009
by Graham


John Wells’ blog of 13 April deals with the inability of many BBC reporters to pronounce the unfortunate earthquake-stricken Italian town. As he says, the Guardian’s Alexander Chancellor takes the Pronunciation Unit to task for not doing its job properly. … Continue reading

July 24, 2008
by Graham

Radovan Karadžić

With this man’s arrest at the weekend, broadcasters are once more having to struggle with the pronunciation of his name. The BBC recommendation, which corresponds to that given in most if not all manuals of pronunciation for Serbian, is to … Continue reading

May 1, 2008
by Graham
1 Comment

My name

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Oxford University Press published three books of names: The Oxford Dictionary of Surnames (Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, 1988); A Dictionary of First Names (Hanks and Hodges, 1990); and A Dictionary of English Place-Names … Continue reading

December 6, 2007
by Graham

Ps and Qs

Both my son and my daughter have reported that when giving their name, it has been repeated back to them as “Quinton” rather than “Pointon”, and this has twice happened to me recently. Neither name is particularly common. What we … Continue reading