Maugham limericks

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Maugham limericks

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Redigeret: mar 6, 2011, 8:09 pm

The writer called Somerset Maugham
was named William by his dad and mom.
He thought the name silly,
and called himself Willy,
and that became his de plume, nom!

mar 7, 2011, 11:06 am

say, I wonder how the English pronounce "Maugham". In American English, it's the same sound as the word "mom"

apr 7, 2011, 5:49 am

As far as I can hear, in the movies Quartet, Trio and Encore, which are British I think, the narrator pronounces Maugham, oddly enough, as it is pronounced in my native language. Now it is the time to agree with Bernard Shaw's dismay that the English alphabet is so thoroughly un-phonetic. Take "Moem", then imagine a 180 degrees rotation of the "e" in clockwise direction, and you will get it right - as it would be written in a dictionary.

Since I am currently in the (miserably small and poor) library of the MPI-CBG (The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics) in Dresden, I may as well check what, for example, The New Oxford Dictionary of English (very old edition, from 1998, but a magnificent quarto of exactly 2152 pages) has to say on the Maugham-question. It says "Mo:m"; just remove part of the "o" around nine o'clock and you'll get it right.

P.S. By the way, the entry on Maugham in this dictionary is appallingly inadequate: it mentions but three novels and one play of his works. And why the play should be one of Maugham's weakest mature efforts (East of Suez), I really don't know.

apr 7, 2011, 1:56 pm

The entry in my favourite OALD is not much better, but one at least can hear both pronunciations: British and North American:

P.S. Still, it's pleasant to see Maugham described as ''one of the best writers of short stories in the English language''.

apr 10, 2011, 11:56 pm

interesting, thanks Waldstein. I'm afraid I don't know how to translate phenomes. If you can give me a German word with the same vowel sound, however, that would work for me.

apr 10, 2011, 11:59 pm

I just found this quote

"Critic Hannen Swaffer once wrote Author Maugham asking him how to pronounce his name. Replied Maugham: "My name rhymes with waugham, as in 'a waugham day.' "

apr 11, 2011, 12:03 am

I'm seeing sources that say give it the "aw" sound in the word law.

One complexity however: people in different parts of the US even pronounce "law"differently.

Some would pronunce the world lawyer as (what I'd pronounce as) loy-yer

Redigeret: jun 4, 2012, 7:23 pm

Maugham thought his first name was silly,
If one used it he'd turn quickly chilly.
One dared not call him Will,
or William or Bill,
and not Somerset either -- just Willy.