Pronouncing Louth

Louth St James' Church

In responding to comments on the post’ Don’t they know who I am?’ I pointed out that Jack Straw on one occasion got my name wrong (‘Lord North’!) and on another occasion mispronounced Louth. 

When he mispronounced the town’s  name, another MP, Keith Simpson, corrected him.  This created an interesting problem for Hansard, since the name remained the same, only the pronunication differed.  It would look a bit odd reporting Keith Simpson as saying ‘It’s Louth, not Louth’.  The reporters got round this by rendering it phonetically, so the record shows the MP as saying ‘It’s Lowth, not Looth’.   I was quite impressed.

Jack Straw sought to extricate himself by recalling that when Michael Brotherton was the MP for Louth, he was known as ‘the Mouth from Louth’.  The MP was known for being ready with a quote whenever approached by the media.  Louth presently has the distinction of being represented by the Father of the House.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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9 Responses to Pronouncing Louth

  1. ladytizzy says:

    Yet, strangely, Mr Straw was brought up in Loughton…

  2. dave thawley says:

    How come Louth has got a ‘Lordship’ or whatever attribute a place has to have a Lord residing if you know what I mean. I’m interested in this type on historic aspect so if you or anyone else could point me at a good reference I would appreciate it.


    • Lord Norton says:

      dave thawley: One gets to choose the territorial designation, subject to certain rules policed by Garter King of Arms. As there was already a hereditary Lord Norton I had to be ‘of’ somewhere, in order to distinguish my title from his, so I chose Louth. Fortunately, Garter had no problems with my choice – quite the reverse – which was just as well as I did not have a fall-back.

  3. dave thawley says:

    Ahh, I understand now. Thanks for explaining this to me.

    Kind regards,

  4. ladytizzy says:

    Lord Norton, apologies in advance for going off topic.

    tory boy prompted me to ponder on an issue when he recently asked a couple of questions here, relating to his essay. As I have mentioned before, one of the joys of this blog, and of LotB, is the knowledge that the bloggers generously share with their readers.

    As university fees continue to rise, will university teaching staff be justified in expecting a pay rise? If so, would it ever be reasonable that a university (as employer) or students (as sub-contractors) insist on a golden gag? By ‘gag’, I mean that staff may only teach students on their course, directly or indirectly. This would cover lecturers wishing to tutor privately or more openly for, say, evening classes or the Open University, mark papers other than for one’s students, write books…you get the gist.

    How mad or bad is this idea? The concept is not new and operates in parts of society today. For example, fees are liable if reproducing copyrighted work, and the Performing Right Society (PRS) extracts fees whenever (most) music is played in a public area. I have some vague memory of a student (who was the first to use Mrs Thatcher’s law on Intellectual Property back in the 1980’s) copyrighting an idea although it was gained as a direct result of his free tuition and free university facilities. I’m sure the whole IP stuff has moved on, but will increased student fees mean more change to such laws?

  5. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,

    Despite the odd Lord of Hull designation, most of the deviant names in the past seem to be Lough. A possible reason is that people are trying to “out” you for a close association with or patronage of lakes in Ireland or Northumberland (or possibly both). If that is the reason maybe this is your chance to come clean about it. Perhaps you are a secret Lake Druid or something…

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