Date: Thu, 11 Aug 1994 19:15:19 -0500

From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU

Subject: Re: Of Cats and Eye Dialect

Re eye dialect: I do consider spellings like "whut" and "wuz" eye dialect,

even though they're artificial in that the spelling doesn't really represent

(to me) a different pronunciation.

To me, that's a definition of eye dialect, and I think thats what it is

Now I understand what you were talking about when you said you had sent

this before reading my p.s. I got your second posting before this one,

for some reason.

That is also the definition of eye dialect to me. I should have said

"because" instead of "even though." I keep telling myself that one of

these days I should start reading things I've written before sending them.

But I bet I won't... That would take away part of the fun of e-life.

On the question raised by somebody else (Don Lance, I think -- I've been

out of town all day and raced through e-mail when I got home) about whether

"whut" is really eye dialect for people with h-less "what," I say yes.

Keeping part of the standard spelling doesn't prevent it from being eye

dialect, IMHO. Moving too far away from the standard spelling makes reading

too difficult -- especially for those of us who say and hear a clear /hw/.

I think I might have mentioned on the list before that I stood and stared

at a handwritten sign on a shop window in Memphis one time, trying to figure

out what it was saying because the letter Y was supposed to represent the

word "Why" (I figured out finally). To me, Y does not sound at all like


--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]