Pronunciation, a Practical Guide to American Standards

Pronunciation, a Practical Guide to American Standards

Pronunciation, a Practical Guide to American Standards

Pronunciation, a Practical Guide to American Standards

Excerpt

This book makes no claim to be a comprehensive guide to the pronunciation of all the words in the English language. Obviously nothing less than a pronouncing dictionary could do that. A pronouncing dictionary, however, is primarily a book of reference; this is primarily a book of instruction. Our aim has been to point out some of the features of good speech and to indicate some of the general principles governing pronunciation, or at least to discuss words in related groups. In particular we have discussed words which experience has shown us to be troublesome.

The book is not addressed to phoneticians. We have had in mind rather the layman who is conscious of defects in his speech and who wishes to correct them; and to this class probably every one who considers the matter at all will find that he belongs. We have, therefore, avoided the use of a technical vocabulary, to the end that the reader should require no knowledge of phonetics. Nor is the book put forward as a contribution to language study: it is after all only a compilation from accessible sources. The method of presentation, however, is new. It has been designed for those who are not themselves phoneticians; and they, we hope, will find the book useful.

Such a book surely requires no apology. Good speech is an essential part of the equipment of every educated man. It is a part of good manners, for the essence of good manners is to please. It is a part no less of a man's command over his fellows, for both in conversation and in public speaking good speech compels attention. It is at once a source of pleasure to the hearer, and a source of assurance and therefore of power to the speaker. And yet, judging from our experience with university students, we believe that there is widespread . . .

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