Tuesday, 18 March 2014

John Wright - Speaking English

When looking into one of my drawers I found a long-forgotten magnetic tape:

I'm going to digitise it to preserve it. Does anybody have any details on the author John Wright?

Update: See comments to this blog entry!


  1. That's good to hear that you feel obliged to preserve this. Perhaps you should join the Missionary Church of Kopimism, who believe that storing information is a sacred virtue.

  2. Excellent suggestion! You probably know that a members of this congregation is called a Kopimist. Now, if you tear this word apart like this - Kopi-Mist, next change its spelling a wee bit - copy Mist, then recall the fact that Mist is German for 'rubbish' or 'manure', the name gets another hilarious twist

    1. Ha ha, that is hilarious. Kopimism began in Sweden. In Swedish, "mist" means "fog".

  3. Well done Petr on three counts: having kept it (despite the musty associations), having found it again, and being able to play the particular track combination.

    Just in case you might be sitting on a fortune, I checked ebay. You'd be amazed how many Wrights have written about speaking, and have their stuff on offer now on ebay, but they've never auctioned this particular title, so there's no value estimate.

    OUP don't know him or his work. Amazon date it to 1973, currently unavailable. Which shows how quickly OUP forget you.

  4. Sidney, I also have Book 1 of Speaking English (actually it belongs to our departmental library). There's no information in it on the author. In the acknowledgment section Wright drops two names: a Mrs Shivdasani responsible for typing the manuscript and a Miss Valerie Taylor, who was in charge of the sound recordings.

  5. The BL tells us that John Wright was born in 1940, so there's a chance that he's still amongst us.

  6. I've found an MA-Thesis on "Studies in the linguistic geography of Somerset" written in 1957 by a John Turner Wright and submitted to the University of Leeds. Mmmh ...

  7. John T Wright was one of the nine fieldworkers on the Leeds University Survey of English Dialects published 1962-72 directed by Harold Orton.