A comedy writer takes 2008 to go through the Daily Reading Guide of the Harvard Classics. What could go wrong?
The first time I ever went to Cambridge, I asked a perfect old don for directions to the Pepys Library, only I pronounced it the way it looks: "PEP-iss." He practically choked and snorted, "It's 'peeps'! 'Peeps'! Oh, oh, don't make a Mexican out of him!"I was, of course, mortified. As I often am in England, where now I don't dare pronounce anything (somehow I learned that it was "maudlin" instead of "Magdalene." But then all this from the people who brought you "chumley" for "Cholmondeley.")By the way, to this day, when I see a flock of sheep anywhere, I say, "Oh, look -- shepp-iss!" I figure if Pepys is peeps, then sheep should be Shepys.
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