uu vs. oo


The re-spelling system used in the recent BBC Oxford Guide to Pronunciation introduces some dubious practices. For instance, the short vowel (John Wells’ FOOT vowel) is represented there by UU. This is counter intuitive, especially as the GOOSE vowel is re-spelled as OO. This means that the closer vowel is represented by what is usually thought of as a more open vowel symbol. Consequently, Rushdie is re-spelt ‘ruush-di’ in the BOGP. I have used the more traditional BBC re-spelling system for non-adapted typewriters, which has ‘oo’ for the FOOT vowel, and ‘oo:’ for GOOSE. Not perfect, but at least it doesn’t contradict IPA practice. Hence ‘ROOSH-di’.

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