A croquet bout has been acclimated in an attack to achieve a altercation amid two counties over the accentuation of a river name.
In Northamptonshire, the 90-mile (150km) River Nene is accepted as the “Nen”. Over the Cambridgeshire border, it is arresting “Neen”.
Northampton and Peterborough croquet clubs battled it out on Sunday, with the champ chief the pronunciation.
Northampton won 7-2 and so both clubs will now use the “Nen” pronunciation.
Paul Chard, Northampton’s club chairman, said it had been “a absurd day” at Central Park in Peterborough.
“It’s about a bit panto-like, the cardinal of bodies who are admiring that ‘Nen’ will be the pronunciation.”
But it will not be the final chat on the amount – the two clubs plan to attempt afresh in 12 months’ time.
“We charge anybody to appear bottomward to the Northampton Croquet Club and accompany us so that we can absorb the appellation of the River Nen for life,” he said.
Peterborough club secretary, Paul Hetherington, said: “We were beggared absolutely – 55% of the hoops denticulate were denticulate by us and, admitting that, I’ve got to alarm it the ‘Nen’.
“It’s like accepting control all through a football bout and still active out losers. But, to be fair, Northampton were actual aces winners.”
The river rises in Northamptonshire and again flows through Cambridgeshire, breadth it forms the bound with Norfolk for a few miles, afore extensive Lincolnshire and abounding into the sea at The Wash.
Generations accept battled over the actual way to accent it.
Lead babysitter in announced English at the British Library, Jonnie Robinson, said there would accept been a anatomy that was “historically older”, an aboriginal complete which changes over time, with altered spellings as well.
“I’ve heard added locals in Northamptonshire say ‘Nen’ alike admitting the ‘e’ on the end suggests ‘Neen’,” he said.
“But there are actual abundant bounded rivalries [with abounding pronunciations] and while it’s difficult to prove one or another, they are things that bodies get actual hot beneath the collar about.
“It’s important because if it’s your hometown or area, it’s allotment of your identity, abnormally if you’ve confused away. It’s an identifier of home.”
Prof Richard Coates, from the Bristol Centre for Linguistics, said: “Nene with the best ‘ee’ complete is apparently the earlier name, and the one with the abbreviate ‘e’ is apparently an innovation.”
Jane Setter, assistant of phonetics at Reading University, said the origins of the name may announce the Celtic/Bronze Age (2100BC to 750BC), but avant-garde accentuation was artlessly a amount of breadth you appear from.
“It looks like there accept been alternative spellings until the mid-1800s, such as Nenn or Nyn,” she said.
“I agnosticism actual abundant that this croquet bout has absolutely acclimatized it.”
The Nene enters Lincolnshire abreast the apple of Sutton Bridge.
Collette Thomas, the landlady’s babe at the village’s Riverside Bar and Restaurant, said: “I’m from Cheshire, but in the 30 years I’ve lived in Lincolnshire and Norfolk I’ve never heard it arresting any added way than ‘Neen’,” she said.
“In fact, it’s the aboriginal time I’ve anytime heard that ‘Nen’ pronunciation.”
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How To Pronounce River – How To Pronounce River
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