Pygmalion Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Preface to Pygmalion. A Professor of Phonetics

• In the Preface, Shaw explains that the English don't value their language and can't speak it properly, in part because the language is not spelled the way it is pronounced.
• Because nobody knows how the English language should be properly pronounced, they end up despising one another for speaking the language differently.
• Shaw sees the need for language reform, and therefore has made the hero of this play a phonetician, based in part on the Oxford phonetician Henry Sweet, author of a form of phonetic shorthand.
• Shaw hopes that his play will make people aware that phoneticians exist and how important they are to the future of the English language.
• Shaw wants readers to know that a transformation such as that which occurs in Liza is possible if done "scientifically" by experts in phonetics.

Act 1

• It is a rainy night in...

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