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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #41 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:19 am 
Oza

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A couple of years ago, a guest on a radio program claimed half of Shakespeare's rhymes don't rhyme, because pronunciation changes over the centuries. Although they did rhyme when Shakespeare wrote them.


Yes. There have been many books on this, and there are similar studies for other languages. For example, we can infer that Caesar did not say veni, vidi, vici but wenny, weedy, wiki, and so can be regarded as the father of the internet. There is even some guy who has reconstructed how Genghis Khan sounded. Terrifying, I think the short answer is.

But in English the most famous case may be the poem "Tiger, tiger, burning bright/what immortal hand or eye/can frame thy fearful symmetry." I have noticed that people still discuss this today, but when I was young and we learned this at school, there was no problem. Eye was pronounced ee in our area (and the plural was een, just as the plural of shoe was shoen), so it did rhyme with symmetry. And, if it comes to that, thy is still in use here, oop North.


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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #42 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:26 am 
Honinbo

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John Fairbairn wrote:
But in English the most famous case may be the poem "Tiger, tiger, burning bright/what immortal hand or eye/can frame thy fearful symmetry." I have noticed that people still discuss this today, but when I was young and we learned this at school, there was no problem. Eye was pronounced ee in our area (and the plural was een, just as the plural of shoe was shoen), so it did rhyme with symmetry. And, if it comes to that, thy is still in use here, oop North.


That reminded me of one of the popular folk songs sung by the Chad Mitchell Trio.

"Queen Elinor was a sick woman
And afraid that she would die,
When she sent for two friars out of France
To come to her speedily."

They pronounced speedily as speedileye instead of pronouncing die as dee.

Also, not about pronunciation, but in my dialect, back in the 19th century the past tense of hear was hearn. Also, from my grandmother's high school English book I learned that the plural of pease is peases. ;) I'm sure it still is. But I had thought that pease was an alternate spelling of peas.

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #43 Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:44 am 
Oza

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Queen Elinor was a sick woman
And afraid that she would die,
When she sent for two friars out of France
To come to her speedily."


This is a very interesting case. I think the spelling in the original Child ballad is sometimes 'dye' (and also fryars), and the content is about the English court, so that might indicate the eye sound.

But Child ballads very often have a Scottish/northern origin (and this episode was at a time of constant England/Scotland warfare), and dee would have been (as it still is) the normal Scots pronunciation.

In support of that, there is a verse later on where knee is rhymed with speedily. I'm not familiar with the Chad Mitchell version so don't know whether they include that verse, but if they do, and if they are trying to be authentic, do they pronounce the k in knee?


Hearn is new to me. Peases is, too, but does not surprise me. Pease pudding was a common dish of my childhood (it is regarded as one of our local dishes) and I can remember always being fascinated by the spelling, but we didn't have the internet in those days, so I remained unenlightened. My guess was that it was an archaic spelling that stuck because of the nursery rhyme Pease Pudding Hot. But since these peas are yellow and not green, that may be a source of differentiation. Is the US version yellow, too?

Can you believe I had to learn Child ballads at school? I expect nowadays people think it means nursery rhymes. I was gobsmacked on a recent walk when my well-educated grandson revealed he didn't know who William Tell was. But then I don't know who Chad Mitchell is/was, and I only found out vaguely yesterday who (or what?) Thin Lizzie was.

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