Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 21:43:57 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: Proverbial Knowledge The universality of proverbs is pretty well-known among folklorists (e.g., Mieder), and even some linguists have had a look at the universality of idioms (although the 'big' works on this point leave me at the moment). I have your proverb in the 'changed' (or 'variant') form. I guess I thought it was the original. I always folk-ethymologized it be a sort of gambling proverb. What is it really (since you seem to have a handle on the original form)? Dennis (always had it wrong but still a native speaker) Preston preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] >Part of communicative competence includes a knowledge of proverbs. Thus, >many English speakers have heard the following proverb: "You pays your money >and you takes your choice." This is listed in the Oxford Dictionary of >Quotations, 3rd ed., 1979:9. Today I heard a variant of this from a native >speaker >in which the word "chances" occurred for "choice." How many have heard this >version? Are there any other permutations with this proverb? Does anyone >have other examples of proverbs with variations in English or in any other >language? >My theory is this. Proverbs are universal, and native speakers change them >according to well-defined rules ("chances" is monosyllabic and begins with >a voiceless affricate, etc.). >I will post a summary of examples sent to me or the network + reasons/ >explications of the phenomenon. >Does anyone know of any research on this? >--Alan Kaye-- >Linguistics >Calif. State Univ., Fullerton --- akaye[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]