Date: Sat, 26 Feb 1994 19:25:24 CST


Subject: Re: Something old, something new

In the G&C Merriam 1928 unabridged, 'coupon' is listed with two pronunciations:

'koo pon (with macron over the oo and breve over o):['ku p[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]n]

'koo "pon (with macron over oo and circumflex over o; ' = secondary stress

and " = primary stress): [ku 'pan]

In the 1875 edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English

Language, the word is italicized, indicating that it is a "foreign word"

The following pronunciation:

'koo pong (with macron over oo and breve over o, and no the -ng is not one

of my ubiquitous typos): presumably ['ku p[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ng]

In 1875 the word referred to a certificate indicating the terms of interest

due on a bond, with terms and time schedule indicated.

In 1928 a second meaning had been added: a section of a ticket (train, theater,

etc) indicating that the holder is entitled to certain accommodations or


So, David Johns's critics were right in claiming that he was participating

in fangling a word in a new way.

Fifteen years or so ago, Tom Murray found some manglings of French street names

in St. Louis that beat what Chicago has to offer. Faliase Street was known

by neighborhood residents as Falsies Street. There were other good ones.

DMLance, Univ of Missouri