Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 00:22:21 -0500


Subject: Blinky milk etc

There seems to have been quite a discussion yesterday about various things

that can happen to milk that one might or might not want to have happen.

Despite the fact that. For the most part they struck this New Yorker as words

one reads about in dialect studies. In other words, I know more about where

people say CLABBER than I know about what it is. The exception was BLINKY,

which I picked up somewhere along the way, probably during my grad school

years in Austin. Since I can actually reach my copy of Atwood (_Regional

Vocabulary of Texas_) while sitting at my computer, I checked what Atwood had

to say. As of 1950 or so, when his data were collected, BLINKY was somewhat

less archaic than BLUE JOHN, which was decidedly archaic. CLABBER in contrast

was universal.

Donald Lance asserted in the meantime that with homogenization and

pasteurization, milk doesn't do any of these things on its own. Well, Donald, I

don't claim any kind of magic touch. But milk from my local Stop-n-Shop if

left alone when I'm out of town most definitely does get blinky. I couldn't

swear to it, never having encountered clabber in its native habitat, but I'm

pretty sure I generated some clabber only a few years ago. After I poured it

down the drain and ran the disposal, I went out for dinner!

Now, in response to Bethany's question about this Thursday and next

Thursday...On Tuesday, both this Thursday and next Thursday are the day after

tomorrow. On Friday, this Thursday is yesterday and next Thursday will occur

in six days, next week. I don't recall any confusion or mix-ups about this

either in my native region (New York) or when I lived in Texas or Florida. Of

course, in those episodes, most of my contacts were University-type folks, and

perhaps not linguistically representative.

Alice Faber