Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 12:12:40 -0500

From: Katherine Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BGA.COM

Subject: Re: word-eating virus!

On Thu, 11 Apr 1996, Ronald Butters wrote:

"I am being have [hejv]" was reported years ago as a child-language

acquistion reanalysis (maybe by Charles Hockett in his COURSE IN MODERN

LINGUISTICS [c.1958]?), but this is the first adult usge I've ever heard

reported. Seems highly unlikely to me from a nonironic adult, but I don't

doubt that Ms. Murphy heard what she heard.

My recollection from my youth with five younger brothers and sisters is

that repeating baby-talk can go from ironic to standard rather easily. It

can go so far that you find yourself unconsciously referring to

"p'sghetti" or "chocolate squirrel ice cream" while with adult (or in my

case teenage) companions--or counting time in "Batmans," say ("How long

till we're theeere?" "About two Batmans")--which can be embarrassing to

say the least. Perhaps that was the case with this woman.

Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]