Wednesday 24 February 2016

On Lyse Doucet and juncture

The BBC's distinguished Foreign Correspondent Lyse Doucet appears on Rafio 4's Today programme regularly. She has an accent that I've never quite been able to place - there are traces of Northern Irish and Canadian. She sounds like a citizen of the world, and quite right too. Whenever she is on air (often reporting from a war zone) I brace myself for her enunciation of the phrase 'peace talks' as I am never able to hear her say the words without mentally reconfiguring them as 'pea stalks'.

This is, I'll admit, trivial in the extreme. It's an example of juncture - the gap between spoken words - affecting their meaning. I once heard a lecturer employ the phrase 'cube analogy' which sounded to me more like 'Cuban allergy' (or what a friend amusingly dubbed 'Castro-enteritis'). 

Then there's the American publishing house New Directions . . .

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