“Haitfield House, Sowth Wawlk” was the instruction when he got into the cab, and continued his conversation with a colleague about futures, options and takeovers with an accent of Received English which would have made Brian Sewell sound like Del Boy. South Walk? “I’m not sure where Hatfield House is”, I ask. My passenger informs me that it might be Stamford Street. “Oh! Southwark”, with a silent W.
2 thoughts on “A silent W”
English pronunciation has many traps for the unwary, especially names.
When I catch myself feeling smug about my knowledge of the pronunciation of names, I recall my trips to Scotland and feeling ridiiculous at mispronouncing Gaelic placenames and being gently correcteed by the locals.
One of my most embarrassing moments was talking to a couple from North-East England and knowing they were speaking English but not understanding the destination they requested