English Language Pronunciations

Over dinner one night during a three-day Girl Scout (Troop 1096) reunion in Ohio, we ten or so attendees had a rousing interaction about mispronounced words in the English language. Among our pet peeves–and there were so many–were mispronunciations of realtor, nuclear, and jewelry, just to name three, and lack of understanding of when to use “she and I” versus “her and me,” for example.

I’m sure any reader of Yours In Books would have participated just as heartily as we all did. I admit it did surprise me how long the discussion went on and how many of us were actively engaged in it. Usually when I bring the topic up with friends or family, it takes only about four minutes for the subject to be changed… Every so often, though, a book on a grammatical theme comes along and hits the bestseller lists–for instance, Woe Is I and Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

Shortly after we Girl Scout reuniters had returned to our far-flung homes, one of us shared the following in an email. (If any of you knows who wrote this poem, please Comment–I haven’t been able to discover the source. Therefore, I don’t know whether it’s still protected by copyright or not.)

Arthur Clough, A Victorian Poet
(poem below by … anyone know?)

I seldom rest beneath a
To read the lines of Arthur
I find his thoughts insipid,
Victorians loved Arthur
Indeed, they could not get
Of platitudes by Arthur
I groan, I gulp, I snort, I
When I must wade through Arthur
And I am glad that I am
With this review of Arthur

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