Jacques Barzun (From Dawn to Decadence) on Walter Bagehot:
The first thing to know about him is how to pronounce his name. It is Badjet.
As one whose reading has always far outrun his hearing, this was useful, to have a mental sound file to go along with the text. I’ve never read Bagehot, nor heard him spoken of, so even though I’ve seen his name many times, it never “sounded” in my head. It might as well have been like when Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable glyph for a few years. I see the particular arrangement of letters, I know to whom it refers, and that’s where it ends. (I had read Barzun’s book a long time ago, but obviously this never stuck with me.) Now, though, thanks to an old cartoon theme song, I feel confident I’ll never forget how to pronounce it. 🎶Doo-dee-doo-dee-DOO, it’s Walter Bagehot…🎶