The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58190   Message #919652
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
27-Mar-03 - 10:38 AM
Thread Name: Info Req: Now is the Month of Maying
Subject: RE: Now is the Month of Maying
Standard pronounciation has changed quite a bit over the centuries, but old rhymes are often retained in poetic diction long after they have been dropped in normal usage ("find" and "wind", for example). In this case, though, the words will have rhymed quite comfortably when they were written; in the 18th century, for example, "tea" was generally pronouced "tay" (approximately), and I'd think that much the same would be true of "speak" in this case. The older pronounciation persists in a number of regional dialects of English.