A thing that annoys me in most dictionaries is that they give the pronounciation of people’s last names, but never of their first names, even if they may be a lot trickier. As for example Evelyn Waugh. The other day I suddenly realised that even though I’ve always pronounced the first name [ˈevlɪn], maybe that’s just my Finnish accent, and probably the real pronounciation is [ˈiːvlɪn]. Of course even Wikipedia only bothers to give the pronounciation of his last name ([ˈwɔː]), which wasn’t that hard to figure out anyway.

Googling about I found Forvo, which contains audio pronounciation samples of about a million words in a few hundred languages. Yay! So, what about Evelyn then? Well, four samples give four different pronounciations, including both above, so apparently native speakers don’t know either.


thnidu said...

You won't like this... well... Anyhow, lots of L1 anglophones make this mistake, in speech as well as in writing, so you're in good company.

It's "proNUNciation", not with "ou" as in the verb.

Best regards,
Dr. Whom, Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoëpist, and Philological Busybody

kai said...

Oh, carp! I even looked it up first to make sure I got it right, but only checked “pronounce” and didn't notice the noun changed the spelling.

thnidu said...

That's the interjection I suggested for use by an unfortunate D&D player who rolled a critical fail and got his character eaten by a koi.

kai said...

A fish that’s very bashful. And so is my Unix shell.