The blog Linguism is updated rarely (only ten entries since last October), but has some interesting stuff, particularly a review of the Oxford BBC Guide to Pronunciation, with the kind of grumpy pickiness I enjoy:
The Earl of Harewood, his home Harewood House (both pronounced ‘har-wuud’) and the village of Harewood (’hair-wuud’) is not listed, but Althorp, the home of Earl Spencer, and the title borne by his eldest son, is there, with some mention of the controversy over its pronunciation. There is a misleading statement here: the authors say that the pronunciation ‘awl-thorp’ is used “in the village”, as if this justifies the pronunciation. But which village? The only village near the estate of Althorp is called Great Brington. The village of Althorpe (note the final –E) is near Scunthorpe, about 120 miles away. The contrast of the situation with Harewood is striking: while the Earl of Harewood calls himself, and his house ‘har-wuud’, the villagers living in Harewood just down the road call their village ‘hair-wuud’. That is their prerogative: they live in the village; he lives at the “big house”, and they each “own” their own pronunciation. The BBC has always respected the distinction. In 1997, when Diana Princess of Wales was killed, the BBC’s senior management ignored all well-established guidelines, and overruled the Earl Spencer’s own pronunciation in favour of the inhabitants of a village with a different name, on very spurious grounds.
I deplore, however, their criticism of Mishal Husain’s pronunciation. Ms. Husain can do no wrong.