How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.
English Pronunciation in the Eighteenth Century
Thomas Spence's Grand Repository of the English Language
Thomas Spence's Grand Repository differs from the many English pronouncing dictionaries produced in the late eighteenth century firstly in that it was intended primarily for the lower classes, and secondly in that it used a truly 'phonetic' script in the sense of one sound = one symbol. In this unique account, Joan Beal pays attention to the actual pronunciations with a view to reconstructing what was felt to be 'correct' pronunciation in eighteenth-century Britain.