Pygmalion - Study Guide Preface to Pygmalion. A Professor of Phonetics Summary & Analysis

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Shaw starts out telling his readers that the English do not value their language and do not teach their children to speak it properly. Part of the problem is that the language is not spelled the way it is pronounced. For this reason, phoneticians are needed to reform the English language. Among the great phoneticians, Shaw mentions Alexander Melville Bell, Alexander J. Ellis and Tito Pagliardini, but holds none in higher regard than Henry Sweet.

Sweet was not an amiable man and detested academics who did not respect his field of study. Shaw tried to foster Sweet's career by helping him publish an article, but the article Sweet produced was merely accusatory and defamatory of his fellow academics, and could not be published. Sweet was not malicious for the sake of being that way; he...

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This section contains 469 words
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Pygmalion from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.