Allow me to write a few lines on Jerome before in a later blog I'll come back to the phonetic side of this short extract (which was written in 1900).I also think pronunciation of a foreign tongue could be better taught than by demanding from the pupil those internal acrobatic feats that are generally impossible and always useless. This is the sort of instruction one receives: "Press your tonsils against the underside of your larynx. Then with the convex part of the septum curved upwards so as almost - but not quite - to touch the uvula, try with the tip of your tongue to reach your thyroid. Take a deep breath, and compress your glottis. Now, without opening your lips, say 'Garoo.'" And when you have done it they are not satisfied.
Who was Jerome K Jerome (/dʒərəʊm keɪ dʒərəʊm/)? Born on the 2nd of May 1859 in Belsize House, Bradford Street, Walsall, Staffordshire, (England, Great Britain, Earth, Universe) as the fourth child of Jerome Clapp and Marguerite Maine Jones. Jerome's siblings had been given quite spectacular names (here are a few fabulous first names for your baby):
- Paulina Deodata Clapp
- Blandina Dominica Clapp
- Milton Melanchthon Clapp.
Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel are the two most well-known novels by JKJ. None of the three pronouncing dictionaries (CPD, LPD, ODP) lists the pronunciation of bummel. OED mentions two pronunciations -/bʊməl/ and /bʌməl/. Bummel is of German origin and means something like 'a leisurely stroll or journey' (OED, s.v. bummel).
* An attempt at an answer can be found in my blog of the 23rd of September.