I blogged a few years back on the way that my ancestor Richard Hall wrote down words where the spelling and the pronunciation differed. I thought that readers might be interested in seeing the original hand-written list of ‘awkward words’ rather than my summary, so here goes:
Some of the items are a surprise – such as adding an ‘h’ to artichoke, and calling a ‘cucumber’ a ‘cowcumber’. I have not come across anyone pronouncing ‘swoon’ as ‘sound’ and with his ‘amuns’ for ‘almonds’ and his ‘fardons’ for ‘farthings’, and his ‘twaylet’ for ‘toilet’, he does sound just a little bit precious!
But perhaps I am looking at things from the wrong end of the telescope: I have a sneaking feeling that Richard Hall would reckon that his great great great great grandson was a tad common…
To end with, I am reminded that when I was researching for my book on Philip Astley I came across the story of how he was teased because he was always unsure about adding an ‘h’ before any word starting with an ‘a’. So, “Hannibal’s army had hardly any armour” would come out as “Annibal’s harmy ad ardly hany harmour”. Poor Philip – and should that make him ‘Philip Hastley’?