'Received pronunciation' for London from TfL
The BBC is famous for having an official 'pronunciation unit', that was the ultimate arbiter of how things should be said on air. With the drive towards using regional accents on television, and a move away from 'received pronunciation', the unit probably has more demand now for how to pronounce foreign names and words, than for working out whether English children were going to grow up saying 'bafth' or 'barth'.
You could access a lot of the content via the BBC's intranet, where pronunciations were recorded as little sound clips, and occasionally, when a new foreign dignitary arrives on the scene with a tricky name, the 'pronunciation unit' will issue a public edict via the BBC's Editor's Blog as to how it should be said.
TfL must have some similar kind of unit that decides how the destinations are going to be pronounced on the announcements that chime out on their new talking buses. Having grown up in Walthamstow, it has come as a bit of a shock.
(You'll have to bear with me here a little, as I have never understood the phonetic spelling of words with dipthongs and diaresis as illustrated in dictionaries. And even if I did, I certainly don't know how to make them appear in UTF-8 encoded HTML)
The 34 route is the prime culprit here. As you approach the Crooked Billet roundabout on Chingford Road, you come to a junction with Cazenove Road. All my life this has been pronounced in a good old-fashioned East End way, with a long 'a' sound, and only two syllables - Kaaaysnove Road.
Not so, according to TfL. It is a three syllable word with a very short 'a' sound - Kas-a-nove Road.
The next stop is George Monoux College. Sir George Monoux was a Lord Mayor of London in the 16th century, and left money for the foundation of a school in Walthamstow. It may be written George Monoux, but the majority of E17 natives have always known him and his school as George Monucks.
Step forward TfL, with their posh and correct French-sounding George Moneau complete with very silent 'x'. They aren't wrong, after all, nobody goes around talking about "Louis Therocks' Weird Weekends" do they?
The thing is though, I already hear people around me in the 'Stow adopting the TfL pronunciations in favour of the now discredited local dialect. Even as the BBC has given up on their mission to standardise regional pronunciation, it seems like TfL's 'pronunciation unit' could end up producing a London-wide 'received pronunciation' for place-names.
Well, at least those near bus stops, anyway.