Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Don't Argue With the Beeb

Guardian columnist Marcel Berlins is skeptical that the Oxford BBC Guide to Pronunciation I mentioned last week is 100% accurate.

I used to present a weekly radio programme on BBC Radio 4, which meant that continuity announcers were frequently obliged to mention my name in trails. The trouble was, they were not pronouncing my surname the way that I did. Their emphasis was on the wrong syllable. I went up to the pronunciation unit and informed them of the correct version. This turned out to be unacceptable to the chief pronunciator, who told me politely but firmly that I had no idea how to pronounce my name. One of us had to give in. It was me. Since then, I have adopted the BBC diktat, except sometimes when I forget and go back to saying it the old way. So if you knew me 15 years ago, I'm still happy to be a first-syllable emphasisee; new friends hit hard on the "lins". [Link]

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