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Dictating to the MobThe History of the BBC Advisory Committee on Spoken English$
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Jürg R. Schwyter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198736738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198736738.001.0001

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Some Linguistic Changes

Some Linguistic Changes

(p.122) Chapter 4 Some Linguistic Changes
Dictating to the Mob

Jürg R. Schwyter

Oxford University Press

Changes of a linguistic nature also affected the workings of the Committee: the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) started to be used by the BBC in 1934. In 1937, the regular publication of the Committee’s decisions, often reached by majority vote since several alternative pronunciations were frequently found to be ‘equally good’, was now replaced by private instructions to BBC announcers about agreed pronunciations. In addition, a Sub-Committee for the Invention of New Words was established; but it was soon recognized as a futile effort to control neologisms and was quickly abandoned. Advice regarding the pronunciation of foreign place names and proper names, however, was efficiently obtained through networks of language specialists from embassies, international companies, and foreign language experts.

Keywords:   International Phonetic Alphabet, Sub-Committee for the Invention of New Words, foreign language experts, foreign names, place names, alternative pronunciations

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