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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE THIRD EDITION.
name is of foreign origin (e. g. TERRE HAUTE) and the inhabitants are of different nations or from different sections of the country; as then some will probably conform to the foreign pronunciation, while others will adopt various modes of anglicizing it. We believe that the determining of such questions must be left to time, which will doubtless gradually bring about the same uniformity in the pronunciation of those names as now obtains in the pronunciation of the names and words adopted into the English language at the Norman conquest.
In the Gazetteer, which frequently contained articles of some length, and in which a great many figured vowels and other marks were necessary in order to indicate the pronunciation of the more difficult names, a very small type would have been extremely inconvenient, not to say inadmissible; but there being in the Appendix little occasion to use any such marks, type of a small size has been employed. By this means, and by having recourse to some additional abbreviations, we have generally been able to condense the notice of the smaller places into a single line; so that, without greatly increasing the size of the work, there has been a most important and extensive addition to its matter.
These, and other considerations already alluded to (see note on the preceding page), will, it is hoped, be deemed a sufficient apology for having recourse to an appendix, which, if an evil, is almost an unavoidable one in works describing a country so full of changes as ours.
*** Let the inquirer bear in mind that all the more important places, including the towns of 6,000 inhabitants and upwards, and all the counties (except those of Texas), are noticed in the body of the work; but that the small towns, rivers, post villages, post townships, the counties of Texas, the different Mexican states and towns (except a few of the largest), are given in the Appendix. In a few instances, where some of the most important of the small towns are described in the Gazetteer, the name is inserted in the Appendix, with a reference to the body of the work.
IT We would particularly invite the attention of teachers to the Table at the end of the Introduction, exhibiting the diversity which prevails in the mode of writing geographical names;--and likewise to the explanations and remarks on pages 50, 51 and 52, as a perusal of these is indispensable to a correct and full understanding of the plan of ths work.
In offering to the public a book like the present, which, as respects some of its more important characteristics, is quite new, the authors feel themselves called upon to explain briefly the object and nature of the work, as well as the motives which induced them to undertake it.
They had themselves often felt the want of a geographical dictionary, to which they might refer for the pronunciation of the names, as well as for the description, of places. They were also convinced by the concurrent testimony of a number of teachers of the highest respectability and of great experience, that the want of such a work was extensively felt; the absence of any standard of geographical pronunciation, rendering it extremely difficult to determine the proper mode of pronouncing many names which are found in the elementary works used in our schools. On inquiring more particularly among persons of different classes and occupations, they were led to the belief that a pronouncing gazetteer, if properly executed, would be generally acceptable to the community.
To fix upon the most eligible system of pronunciation, was a point of the highest importance, but it did not appear to be one of extraordinary difficulty. They determined, in accordance with what they believed to be the prevailing sense of the more intelligent, and the prevailing practice of the better educated, to give the pronunciation of all geographical names, as nearly as possible, as they are pronounced by the well educated people of the respective countries to which they
belong, with the exception of those well known foreign names which appear to have acquired a fixed English pronunciation, as PARIS, NAPLES, &c. In these cases, it has been their aim to give the English pronunciation according to the usage of the best speakers: at the same time the pronunciation of the people of the country has been added, for the satisfaction of those who might feel any curiosity on the subject. Thus they have given Pårl-is, as the proper mode for an Englishman or an American to pronounce this name, at the same time adding the name as spoken by the French, which might be written Pår-ree: and so with respect to most other well known names in foreign countries.
It is admitted that cases not unfrequently occur, in which it is impossible to convey, with any great degree of precision, the native pronunciation of other countries by means of English letters; but something is undoubtedly gained by such an approximation to the true sound, as would enable one more readily to understand, and to be understood by, those who are familiar with the names of places as spoken by the inhabitants themselves.
Some have indeed maintained the propriety of pronouncing foreign names as they are written, giving to every letter its proper English sound. But this system appears to be attended with greater difficulties than any other, since different persons would differ with regard to the proper English sound of many letters or combinations of letters. Thus the river Seine might be pronounced seen or sane ;-we have heard those, we think, unacquainted with French, more frequently call it seen, and it is doubtful whether, even among the better educated, there is one in fifty who could say without some reflection, to which pronunciation the scale of analogy would incline. A few probably would call it sine, and others might pronounce the final e.
This one instarce out of a multitude may perhaps serve to
show the endless diversity and confusion into which such a system, or rather want of system, must of necessity lead. But this is not all; there are innumerable cases wherein it is very difficult, if not impossible, to pronounce the names of other countries according to the English sound of the letters, e.g., CZERNIGOW, CSONGRAD, SZEGEDIN, LJUSNE, &c., while there is no difficulty whatever, in pronouncing them according to the native sound. Many instances also occur, in which the English manner of pronouncing names, though not difficult, is far less euphonious than that of the inhabitants of the country to which such names belong. Minho (meen'-yo,) a river, and Batalha (bả-tắy-yả,) a town of Portugal, and BACCHIGLIONE (bảk-keel-yo'-ná,) a river of Italy, may serve as examples.
As a further confirmation of the propriety of the system which we have adopted, it may be remarked that it agrees (as will be seen from the first part of the Introduction,) with the mode of pronunciation generally employed by all our most distinguished poets.
Nothing in their mental culture is perhaps so important to be taught early to children, as a habit of correct pronunciation. It need not occupy any additional time, since a faulty pronunciation is no more easily learned in the first instance, than a correct one, but when once acquired it can be changed only with the greatest difficulty. Erroneous habits,—as those engaged in the business of education well know—are far more difficult to eradicate than erroneous opinions. In order, however, to teach pupils to pronounce correctly, a system of pronunciation is indispensable.
Most persons who have reflected at all upon the subject, will doubtless admit, that it is highly desirable that there should be some fixed mode of pronouncing geographic names, as well as ordinary English words, in which all should at least generally agree. If this be conceded, and the scholar be required to conform to a system at all, it appears clear, that that system should be preferred, which, without placing any serious difficulty in the way of the learner, approaches most nearly to the usage of those, who, whether natives or travellers, seem entitled, by their superior knowledge of places, to determine the proper manner of speaking their names. It may be remarked that the recently increased facilities of communication, and consequent increase of intercourse between different parts of the world, render an acquaintance with the native geographical names of other countries, at the present time, additionally important.
Particular pains have been taken in the present work, with the European, and the better known of the Asiatic languages, not only to give the accent correctly, but also to notice all important peculiarities of pronunciation. In performing this, it has been our anxious aim to consult, in every instance, the very best authorities in each of the different languages. We flatter ourselves that in this aim we have been singularly successful; and esteem ourselves most fortunate in being able to cite in our list of authorities, the names of so many gentlemen of distinguished reputation in their respective departments.
In our Introduction we have thought it proper to state the general principles of pronunciation of each of the more important European languages, as well as to explain the mode of writing and pronouncing the geographical names of Asia, Africa, &c. With respect to the four great languages of continental Europe, viz: the French, German, Italian, and Spanish, it seemed requisite to treat the subject somewhat more fully, both on account of their intrinsic importance, and because it has been found convenient to employ them as standards of comparison, to which other languages less known might be referred.
It may be proper to state, that in the present work the adjective, and the appellation of the inhabitants, derived from