Like I said in last week’s blog, English has been broken down into 44 distinct sounds, with regional variations of course. However, if you can pronounce all these sounds, you’ll be able to pronounce any word in English. The fun thing is though, that sounds change depending on the company they keep, for example, in Oscar Wild’s famous scene from The Trouble With Being Ernest, Lady Bracknell, played by Dame Edith Evans, utters the famous words ‘a handbag’  It is how many people believe the author intended it to be said. In this version, she undoubtedly pronounces the /n/ and the /d/ sounds in ‘hand’, followed by the /b/ in ‘bag’. In everyday life, however, this /n/ and /d/ together, usually produce /m/ and ‘handbag’ can end up sounding like ‘hambag’, or ‘humbug’ or even ‘hamburger’ to some people’s ears! Check out Judi Dench’s rendition on the following – with accompanying comments!  OK, I have to get back to the football, England’s big day tomorrow. Please practise saying ‘handbag’ before next week! J