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INTRODUCTION.
301
of lists of such words, their fitness is indicated by the phrase "also the preterites of verbs in ick* &c. No word is repeated on account of its several acceptations; but in those few cases in which a word has two different sounds as well as different meanings, as bow, for shooting, bow, a salutation, it is given in each list.
Proper names* both of persons and places, are omitted for obvious reasons.
It has, however, been deemed desirable, in a few cases, to discriminate, with greater precision than usual, between sounds that closely assimilate; hence double lists of words in EW, OW, IVE, OVE, and Y, &c. are given.
Some few obsolete and provincial words, as well as a sprinkling of slang terms that are current and unobjection­able, have been inserted, as English rhymesters can ill afford to reject any material that is at all suitable to their purpose. In many such cases, however, it has been deemed fit to add short notes of explanation, or credentials of respectability. Space has been found also for a limited
* The vagaries of pronunciation, troublesome enough in ordinary words, become absolutely bewildering in proper names, a few instances of which are subjoined:—
Beauchamp (beecham).                        Dillwyn (dillon).
Belvoir (bever).                                   Knollys (nowls).
Caius (kees).                                        Leveson (lewson).
Cholmondeley (chumley).                    St. John (sinjon).
Colquhoun (cohoon).                           Wemyss (weems).
It seems to be an inalienable right in every man to pronounce his name as he likes. If Mr. Smith wishes to call himself Smythe, there is no power on earth to prevent him. In fact, he can go much farther than this and change his name altogether with very little trouble—as a Mr. Bug did some years ago by advertising in The Times that henceforth he desired to be known as Mr. Norfolk-Howard ! A curious instance of the uncertainty of the sound of proper names is furnished by the word Ralph. Not very long ago a lady visitor at Aldworth, Tennyson's seat, had occasion to use the word several times, and pronounced is as rhyming with saje. Tenny­son insisted, with some vigour, that it should be sounded as half. " But why," a gentleman of that name might ask, " should I be done out of my I?"






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III