Over at the Log, Mark Liberman adduces a nice bit of language peevery from Love’s Labour Lost, where Holofernes complains about Armado’s pronunciations:
I had forgotten the passage where Holofernes complains about Armado’s pronunciations. The complaint is not about Armado’s Spanish accent, but about his unetymological pronunciations — omitting the ‘b’ in doubt and debt, and the ‘l’ in half and calf; leaving out the reflex of ‘gh’ in neighbor and neigh; inserting (or removing?) [h] in abominable:
He draweth out the thred of his verbositie, finer then the staple of his argument. I abhor such phanaticall phantasims, such insociable and poynt deuise companions, such rackers of ortagriphie, as to speake dout fine, when he should say doubt; det, when he shold pronounce debt; d e b t, not det: he clepeth a Calf, Caufe: halfe, haufe: neighbour vocatur nebour; neigh abreuiated ne: this is abhominable, which he would call abhominable: it insinuateth me of infamie: ne inteligis domine , to make franticke, lunaticke?
The text fails to make it clear whether the alleged flaw is adding or lacking an [h] in abominable, since both Holofernes’ own pronunciation and his presentation of Armado’s pronunciation are spelled “abhominable” in the text…
Read Mark’s post for explanation of the history of the unetymological “abhominable”; he ends by saying “In any case, this passage is the earliest example of linguistic peeving that I can think of. Can anyone give me an example before 1598?” I’ve quoted Catullus and Aristophanes in the comment thread.