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date: 24 May 2024


The Oxford Companion to the English Language
Tom McArthurTom McArthur, Jacqueline Lam-McArthurJacqueline Lam-McArthur, Lise FontaineLise Fontaine

A pleasant, harmonious quality in speech. The perception of such a quality is partly physiological (soft, flowing, blending sounds are generally considered pleasanter than harsh, jangling, discordant sounds) and partly cultural (people tend to like sounds that they have been led to like). In English, euphony is often associated with long vowels, the semi-vowels or glides /j, w/, and the consonants /l, m, n, r/. All of these occur in the opening verse of Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard’ (... ...

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