Monday, 4 April 2011

Grants more important than pronunciation

Heysham is a village next to Morecambe. If you have not heard of it then you may have a problem with the pronunciation. The locals say the first syllable like the pronoun he, not the dried grass hay. One of the groups to feel the recent cuts from the Arts Council (see yesterday's blog) was the dance company The Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs (usually pronounced The Chumleys and Fanshaws). There are a few rules of pronunciation in English but the first rule must be that there you have to bow to local knowledge when it comes to proper nouns. In the North West we have three Claughtons all pronounced differently - just go with the locals.

I spent the first year of my course in physiotherapy learning how to pronounce anatomical and physiological words. I spent the rest of my life learning that everyone pronounces them differently. Pronunciation may not be the most important aspect in any political thinking but mispronunciations will not win votes. However it is much more important to do the right thing than to pronounce it correctly. Let's hope the big society work of the Chumleys and Fanshaws and the Lancaster Ludus Dance may continue.

Change the world


  1. After all..there are 3 recognised pronuncications of the word "scone" and in the huge OED they are all correct, it just depends on where you hail from.
    By the way GAL-gate...annoys me as well..when we all know tiz GALL gate!

  2. Please don't let it annoy you Sea. The title tells you that some things are much more important.