Date: Sun, 27 Feb 1994 11:36:30 -0700
From: Rudy Troike RTROIKE[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ARIZVMS.BITNET
Subject: "Fall" as transitive verb
The following is from my Chaucerian colleague, Sig Eisner. The topic may
be an old one on ADS-L. If so, pardon the redundancy.
From: IN%"SEISNER[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU" "Sigmund Eisner" 27-FEB-1994 09:3
Good morning, Rudy:
I suspect you will not find much, if anything, on "shut on the
water." It was said by a few fairly uneducated children within my
awareness radius when I was about ten and growing up some 30 miles south of
San Francisco. The reason I remember it is that I brought it home to my
own family and they roared with laughter. In fact it was a family joke for
years after I outgrew the tribe that initiated it. Still, if you do find
something, do let me know.
One other that I found very interesting is the Oregonism "to fall
trees." The word "fell" is hardly ever used in the Oregon lumber area.
Furthermore, the person who cuts down the tree is called "the faller."
Once when I was expounding on this localism to a class at Oregon State, a
hefty fullback in the back row asked me if I would call the tree cutter "a
feller." Then he gave forth with a laugh that rattled the classroom windows
and slapped his own leg with a crack that shook the floor. That afternoon
I went to what library resources we had and discovered that they still fall
trees in some parts of Minnesota and also in what forests are left in
England. Since I use "fall" and "fell" when I explain the mysterious
distinction between "lie" and "lay" (that is mysterious to anyone who
wanders into my current classrooms), I've always been interested in that
particular item. The replacement of a strong for its weak verb parallel
or vice versa must be more widespread that just "lie" and "fall." Do you
know of any others?