Monday, June 13, 2005

Spell Pepysian

When I was watching the Spelling Bee, this word came up for poor Alexis Ducote. The word is pronouced: "peeps-ian" and it means "in the style of the diary written by Samuel Pepys."

Now, Alexis probably knows nothing about Samuel Pepys. If Alexis knows anything about him, perhaps he read that Samual Pepys was a noted official in Elizabethan England, and kept a detailed diary. Master Ducote might even have stumbled across the diary which is published as a weblog. But who among us has HEARD the name pronounced? Until recently, I pronounced Samuel's family name in my head as Pep-is. I have known of him since I was 12 and was given a copy of the Book of Lists. One of the lists was something to the effect of Bad Behavior Throughout History and in that list was a passage from Pepys' diary about his fondness for fondling his maid's breasts every morning. I knew nothing else about Pepys except that he had an unusual name that I mispronounced, that he kept a diary, and like to take liberties with his maid. But I guess I was ahead of poor Alexis, even though this spelling bee finalist is growing up only a scant 60 miles from where I had first read about lusty Mr Pepys and his pepysian diary.