Seeing this article in The Guardian about whether the cream or the jam should be put on the scone first when making a traditional cream tea reminded me of the heated arguments we would have at university about the correct pronunciation of the word 'scone' -- should it rhyme with 'gone' or 'bone'? Unlike some words and sounds eg the vowels a and u, it wasn't a north/south thing but seemed completely random and quirky. What was amazing was how much passion the subject generated. I had always said 'scone' to rhyme with 'gone' and thought the 'bone' pronunciation was very posh and pretentious. Those who said 'scone' to rhyme with 'bone', I discovered, felt exactly the same about my pronunciation. The OED is no help on the matter, giving both pronunciations (with the 'bone' sound first, if that means anything). John Wells, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics at UCL conducted a survey and found that two-thirds of the population prefer the 'gone' pronunciation. That pronunciation was overwhelmingly preferred in Scotland, even though, just to confuse matters, the historic Scottish village of Scone, once the capital of the Kingdom of Alba (Scotland), and original home of the famous Stone of Scone, is pronounced 'scoon' to rhyme with 'spoon'.