Views: 520

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Jody, I was quite surprised to read your comment, "I've spent some time in England and was aware of the pronunciations of the three names you mentioned. It was near impossible not to know". You must have moved in exalted circles whilst you were in Great Britain to have known about the correct pronunciation of these surnames. From an early age i was aware of the name Cholmondeley because my father's family originated in the area of country around Whitby, N.Yorkshire where the Cholmondeleys held sway, (they still have a private pew in St. Mary's church in Whitby) and he would say of women whom he considered to be 'getting above themselves', "Who does she think she is? Lady Cholmondeley?" pronouncing it 'Chumley' of course, but I never saw the name written down and so never even thought about how it might be spelled Lady Cholmondeley was a benefactress of the poor and when I lived in Whitby, my house was next door to an old school which she had paid for, the building is still there, and is now the headquarters of the local rowing club, it has a large stone set in the facade with details of Lady C's generosity and concern for the education of the masses. I mention this because Whitby had become a very successful tourist town and, living next door to Lady C's school building, I was often asked how her name, featured on the dedication stone, was pronounced, by visitors to Whitby who were unfamiliar with the surname.Were you also familiar with the pronunciation of these names Anselm, Althorpe, Beauchief?

But that is my point: you *heard* the name before you saw it written. So your knowledge of how to pronounce the name was independent of seeing letters. And it was independent of having personal contact with anyone with those names or those of their class.  No, I didn't know how to say Bee-chiff and  Awl-trupp until I just now investigated. I still don't know how to say Anselm except as written.   

Inevitably my knowledge of British pronunciation is random and incomplete to say the least but I encountered many regional variations. I also noticed that the difference between written and spoken English was not confined to the upper class. 
Richard William Ineson said:

Jody, I was quite surprised to read your comment, "I've spent some time in England and was aware of the pronunciations of the three names you mentioned. It was near impossible not to know". You must have moved in exalted circles whilst you were in Great Britain to have known about the correct pronunciation of these surnames. From an early age i was aware of the name Cholmondeley because my father's family originated in the area of country around Whitby, N.Yorkshire where the Cholmondeleys held sway, (they still have a private pew in St. Mary's church in Whitby) and he would say of women whom he considered to be 'getting above themselves', "Who does she think she is? Lady Cholmondeley?" pronouncing it 'Chumley' of course, but I never saw the name written down and so never even thought about how it might be spelled Lady Cholmondeley was a benefactress of the poor and when I lived in Whitby, my house was next door to an old school which she had paid for, the building is still there, and is now the headquarters of the local rowing club, it has a large stone set in the facade with details of Lady C's generosity and concern for the education of the masses. I mention this because Whitby had become a very successful tourist town and, living next door to Lady C's school building, I was often asked how her name, featured on the dedication stone, was pronounced, by visitors to Whitby who were unfamiliar with the surname.Were you also familiar with the pronunciation of these names Anselm, Althorpe, Beauchief?
Jody, i thought that your point was that "It was near impossible not to know".the pronunciation of the names Cholmondeley, Featherstonhaugh, and Mainwearing, when you 'spent some time in England' and my point is that very few people living in the UK at present would know how to pronounce these names correctly, which is exactly why these names exist, it is part of the British class system which has been purposely designed, over many centuries, to ensure that the riff riff can be easily identified and excluded.

Anselm is, incidemtally pronounced 'Aslem' other examples are Powell, pronounced 'Pole' (only when the Powell in question is in the upper ranks of society) and Marjoribanks, pronounced 'Marshbanks'. There will be many more.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2021   Created by thereallyniceman.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service