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I remember when working on Sheffield station while a student, there was a parcel to be put aboard a train and my colleague wasn't sure by which route it should go. He plumped for a train via Derby. "Ah," said he, "we'll tek ahsen ter Derby", which he pronounced so as to rhyme with Kirby.

I'm not sure how the inhabitants of that city pronounce its name and will endeavour to find out next time I go there.

I think we southern over-sophisticates often make the mistake of thinking that how we pronounce a word is how everyone pronounces it.

For example, consider Shrewsbury. We pronounce the first syllable as though it rhymes with "toes" but the nearer you get to the town itself, the more often you hear it pronounced as it is spelt, "Shroosbury".

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