Come again?

English is a wonderful language.  Consider the theme running through the following words:

Stage
Play
Straight
Gaol
Gauge
They
Gael

They all have the same vowel sound.  (At least they do in British English.)  By itself, that sound is used for a sort of English noise.  I’m not sure that it’s really a word in its own right, but it has a recognised meaning – a general purpose question, expressing puzzlement and soliciting clarification.  (What?  You what?  Come again?)  At Lazy Bee Scripts, we see different renderings of this sound from different writers.  Amongst others, James Barry has used “ai” whilst Bob Heather has used “ay”.  We discourage these variants.  (Whilst the first one is unlikely to be mistaken for its other meaning – a three-toed sloth; look it up if you don’t believe me – actors can stumble over the second one, confusing it with “aye”).  Our house style for this sound invokes yet another spelling.  Eh?

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