14 MARCH 1998, Page 63


Q. The p.v. pronunciation of laundry is surely larndry, not landry. Leyburn, N. Yorks A. I stand corrected.

Q. A.D. Sopwith, the great senior history master at Latymer Upper School, used to tell his pupils that a garage was where one kept one's car and a garridge was where one had it repaired. MN., London W11 A. Thank you for sharing this joke with fel- low readers.

Q. Normal p.v. pronunciation: primrally, voluntrally, temprally. The most promi- nent and laboured mispronouncer is the BBC.

Appledore, Kent A. This is why it is now referred to as the BBPC.

Q. May I offer crone (long o's which have shortened), Cuvent Garden, Cuventry (short o's which have lengthened), Marsayles (Anglicised foreign names which have de- Anglicised)?


Dear Mary. . .

A. Thank you. Other Euro-p.v.'s include Lions, Mentony and Leghorn.

Q. Pomfret (as in racing at).

ML., Bradfield, Berks A. Indeed.

Q. Permit me to offer another example of p.v. pronunciation: sex. This is, of course, a reference to receptacles used for the stor- age of garbaage (sic) in the better parts of Edinburgh.

Glasgow A. Thank you for contributing.

Q. When friends come here to stay, they often are kind enough to bring presents of wine, liqueurs or spirits, which obviously have been chosen with great care. But two years ago my doctor put me on the wagon for life, with great benefit for my health, and I am obeying that order rigidly. If, after profuse and sincere thanks, I return the gift suggesting that it is given to another host, my answer is accepted as an affront. If I suggest that I will keep it for other special guests the answer is accept- ed frigidly. Because I am a widower and I do not have a partner (if that is the cor- rect definition?), I cannot say that anyhow she will enjoy it and that I will be delight- ed to watch her do so. Please do not give the obvious reply that I should try and find a second wife or 'partner' to live here. I am 77 years old. What answer do you suggest?

P. S., Cornwall A. I certainly do not advise you to follow the example of the militant teetotaller, Rosalind Countess of Carlisle, who had the entire contents of the Castle Howard wine cellar poured into a stream (incidentally, the wine had gone off anyway). Far better to take advantage of this embarras de richesse by running the most popular tombola at your local fate. Your conscience will be clear and your popularity in the neighbourhood will rocket.