Word Ways


Darryl Francis


This article was prompted by an encounter that we had some while ago with an American tourist in London. He asked us if we would direct him to "Lee-Cester" Square. Drawing on our encyclopedic knowledge of the geography of London, we were able to inform the gentleman concerned that there was no such place. We then went on to suggest that what he really wanted was Leicester Square, where the first word is pronounced lester and not, as the gentleman had supposed, lee-cester. Accordingly, we directed one rather bemused tourist to Leicester Square after we had explained to him that British place-names are not always pronounced as they are spelt.