The \"tight control\" theory for the Book of Mormon translation suggests that Joseph dictated a fairly literal translation of the Nephite text into the scriptural language of his day. According to several witnesses, Joseph actually spelled out proper nouns the first time he dictated them to his scribe. One interesting example is the name \"Coriantumr.\" Dr. Royal Skousen , the foremost expert on the original Book of Mormon manuscript (the text written by scribes as dictated by Joseph), explains that when Joseph dictated \"Coriatumr\" to Oliver Cowdery, Oliver wrote \"Coriantummer,\" crossed it out, and then wrote \"Coriantumr.\" The first spelling makes sense based on what Oliver would have heard. There is no way Oliver could have known that the name ended with \"umr\" unless Joseph offered the correct spelling. It also appears, however, that Joseph spelled out proper names only on their first usage. In subsequent usages he relied on the scribe to remember the correct spelling (which didn't always happen). In Alma 46:3, for instance, we encounter the first occurrence of the name \"Amalickiah\" which Joseph likely spelled out to Oliver. Later in the book of Alma, Oliver began putting \"e's\" in place of the second and third vowels. Oliver corrected his spelling and moved on. Eventually, he quit making corrections (since the first usage set the correct standard) and generally continued to misspell \"Amalickiah\" as \"Ameleckiah.\" An interesting by-product of this discovery suggests that when Joseph pronounced \"Amalickiah\" he put the heavier stress on the first syllable while the second and third vowels (those that Oliver frequently misspelled) probably produced the \"uh\" sound. We can surmise this based on the way Oliver heard — and frequently misspelled — the word. Today, we tend to put the emphasis on the \"al\" part of the name. While we generally pronounce the name as \"uh-MAL-uh-KY-uh,\" Joseph likely pronounced it \"AM-uh-luh-KY-uh.\" Decades after the Book of Mormon was published there was a wide diversity of ways that members pronounced Book of Mormon proper names. Finally, in the early 1900s a church committee was organized to produce a \"pronunciation guide.\" This committee formulated a set of rules — based on common English standards rather than revelation — for pronouncing proper names. The intent of the committee was not to dictate the absolute correct way to pronounce the proper names, but rather to establish some uniformity. Today, thanks to Skousen, we have a more likely candidate for the correct pronunciation of the name Amalickiah. The original grammar of the 1830 Book of Mormon also provides some evidence for \"tight control.\" Before we get to this evidence some explanation is in order. All LDS scholars recognize that changes were made to later editions of the Book of Mormon. For many critics, this is a sure sign that God was not the source for the book's translation. For Mormons, however, who do not believe in infallible prophets or inerrant scripture, this presents no problem whatsoever. Some Book of Mormon changes were made to conform to modern spellings. In 1828, for instance, six different dictionaries spelled some words differently. Other changes were made to clarify ambiguous sentences. In the 1830 edition, for example, 1 Nephi 8:4 originally read: \"for, behold, me thought I saw a dark and dreary wilderness.\" In 1837 this was changed to, \"for behold, me thought I saw in my dream, a dark and dreary wilderness.\" In 1830, 1 Nephi 20:1 originally read: \"Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah.\" In the 1840 edition the words, \"(or out of the waters of baptism)\" were added to the end of this verse. Many critics have complained about the supposedly bad English grammar found in the first edition. As with the spelling changes and clarifications, when subsequent editions were printed many of non-standard grammatical errors were corrected. The original poor grammar sentences, however, provide some interesting evidences for the \"tight control\" theory. In many instances the original readings — which are improper in English — make perfect grammatical sense in Hebrew. The late Dr. Sidney Sperry, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School's Oriental Language and Literatures Department (and did a year of post-doctoral research in archaeology at the American School of Oriental Research), claimed that a strong case could be made that the Book of Mormon often betrays a \"a too literal adherence to an apparent Hebrew original\" (\"The Book of Mormon as Translation English,\" Improvement Era, March, 1935). This connection will be the topic of our next installment.