Words of Two Syllables, A Selection from the English Spelling Book

William Foredyce Mavor (1758–1837)

Just for fun is how I interpret some of  LibriVox’s group collections, including The Insomnia Collection, which bills itself  thusly: “Soporific dullness is in the ear of the listener, and what’s tedium to one person will be another’s passion and delight. However, it is hoped that at least one from the range of topics will lull the busy mind to a state of sweet sleep.”  My contribution to this collection was “Words of Two Syllables, a Selection from The English Spelling Book.” 

The author of the English Spelling Book was William Foredyce Mavor (1758-1837), and his book was first published in 1801.  It apparently became a classic educational tool, since the edition I read from was published in 1852.

After I read words of two syllables (some of which are shown above) for 33 minutes and 53 seconds straight, I did fall into a sort of rhythmic somnolence, but instead of this putting me to sleep, I began to see all kinds of Freudian (Victorian?)  slips in the lists that kept me laughing.

Some examples:


hostess
hostile
hot-house
hourly


glossy
glutton
gnashing
goblet


father
faulty
favour
fawning
fearful
feather


Spotting these sequences can make a cheerful diversion anytime!


If you’re looking for something else in a light-hearted vein:
Driving the Lincoln Highway, Chicago to Rochelle, Illinois, 1915, by Emily Post
Uncle Sam’s Camel Corps, by Fred S. Perrine

And here is a SoundCloud remix using some of “Words of Two Syllables” by Stromstoff , who is a member of LibriVox.   Be prepared for something different!