Letter: A modern language

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I must add my voice to those of your correspondents who protest against mispronunciations. However, the instances they cite ("Febuwerry", "opthalmic" etc) are only the tip of the iceberg.

Virtually every word in the language is now mispronounced. "Wrong" has lost its w. "Headed", which originally had three vowels, now has only two. "Purist lunatic" is widely pronounced (by speakers who should know better) with a rogue y before the u in the first word but not in the second. Few educated residents of Berkshire are even capable of pronouncing the name of their own county properly: most follow the recent lazy fashion for dropping the r and of course the first syllable is regularly changed (perhaps in self-defence) to "bark". If this appalling trend continues, we will all end up speaking modern English.

MICHAEL SWAN

Chilton, Oxfordshire

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