Swift

HSchinske at aol.com HSchinske at aol.com
Tue Mar 4 17:10:59 EST 2003


In a message dated 3/4/2003 1:20:59 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
owner-dwj-digest at suberic.net writes:


> One of the joys of hearing eighteenth-century scholars discuss Swift lies in
> hearing how they choose to pronounce 'Houyhnhnm'. Should they simply say
> 'Hoynim' (the coward's way), add a little nasal overlay to the 'hnhnm' 
> part,
> or throw back their heads and go for a full-throated whinny? It says a lot
> about one's character, and you can bet Swift foresaw it all.
> 

My favorite 18C scholar (the late Owen Jenkins, who sort of appears in Pamela 
Dean's _Tam Lin_) just said Whinnim, or possibly Whin-in-im, but I seem to 
remember him leaving out a syllable compared to the way I said it. (I say 
Whin-in-im.)

I put "Brobdingragian" in a paper for him, since Gulliver says perfectly 
clearly that Brobdingnagian was a typo for Brobdingragian (note: I'm doing 
this from memory, won't swear that I've got it quite correct), and he was 
amused but said it wasn't standard. (Oh, gosh, maybe that was in a high 
school paper? My memory's going. I thought it was for OJ though.)

Helen Schinske
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