Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Masonic Tech:

Have you ever been stuck on a particular word in Masonic ritual and have had absolutely no idea how it should be pronounced? Have you found the phonetic spelling in common dictionaries difficult to figure out? Have you been dismayed when you found that brothers within your lodge pronounce a word entirely differently? Now there is an online tool that can assist you with your pronunciation and help clear up these various problems. is a website that categorizes words in 177 languages and allows users to record 2.5 second long sound clips of how to pronounce the word. This user-created content is now open for the internet community to listen to and discover how to pronounce those difficult to frame words.

Although the applications for English students and foreign language students are readily apparent, Masons can also find this site very useful. Masonic ritual is filled with words that are not commonly found in present-day English. This causes Masonic Ritual to become ripe with mispronunciations. I can still remember the first time I portrayed the extended apron presentation and was advised afterwards by a Paster Master, that I had mispronounced two fairly important words. It wasn't the end of the word, but now situations like this can be avoided.

The downside of this site is that a person who records the pronunciation could still be incorrect. So all sound clips should be take with a grain of salt. Furthermore, the web site is still new and doesn't have a huge breadth of words yet. However, you can help by recording words that you all ready know. Hopefully in time, the site will be filled with many of those difficult Masonicisms. If you'd like to hear the voice of the Masonic Renaissance's author, you should check out the following words on Forvo:
  • irrevocable
  • votaries
  • Callimachus

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