A DICTIONARY OF MODERN PRONUNCIATION
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Dictionary of Modern Pronunciation
Here in one alphabetical listing are the 9,000 most controversial words in American pronunciation, each with its recommended and variant forms, and most of them with a reference to one or more of the 306 categories of words that are influenced by general pronunciation principles.
Categories answer questions such as these :
When are certain vowels short, long or obscure?
When is C-or-G- hard, soft, or silent?
When is S- hissed or buzzed?
When is TH- voiced or breathed?
Where does the accent occur on nouns, verbs, and adjectives or varying numbers of syllables?
Where does the accent fall on words ending in -ary, -ery, -orily, etc?
When you look up a word, whether out of idle curiosity, genuine puzzlement, or immediate need, you will not only discover its popular pronunciation or pronunciations on the educated level, but you will also be directed to that category in which words of similar pattern are classified and explained.
Mr. Lewis takes as his working principle of linguistic science that the criterion of ‘‘correctness” in pronunciation is educated usage–not rule, not tradition, not spelling, not derivation, not clarity, not preciseness, not indeed anything but actual usage. He has traveled extensively, listening to pronunciation, interviewing lexicographers, linguists, writers, speech and English teachers, studying tape recordings of actual speech. He has relied particularly on Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language and The Thorndike-Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary, “these being the works in whose scietific approach to linguistics I have the greatest faith. This is not to suggest, however, that the patterns recommended in this book invariably agree in part or in whole with those recorded in the two dictionaries mentioned–the final decision on how many, and which, pronunciations to recommend has always been based on my own firsthand research.
“My aim, throughout these pages, is to record (and inferentially, by recording, to recommend) only those pronunciations that have the widest currency in educated speech.”
NORMAN LEWIS received his B.A. From City College and his M.A. From Teachers College, Columbia University. For many years he taught at the College of the City of New York. At present he is in the English department at New York University School of General Education. For some years he was editor of Correct English Magazine.
He has devoted many years to writing in the field of language arts. Besides the two described above, his books include How to Read Better and Faster, Word Power Made Easy, Thirty Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary (with Wilfred Funk), The Comprehensive Word Guide, The New Roget’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form, Power with Words. His articles have appeared in Harper’s, Vogue, Saturday Evening Post, and other leading magazines.