Date: Mon, 21 Mar 1994 14:29:23 -0500 From: Martha Howard Subject: Homophone? I hope that all of you expert dialecticians can figure out for me just where the editor making up a crossword I worked comes from. (Anybody want to diagram *that* sentence?) The clue was "homphone for 'air' ." The answer turned out to be "ire." (I know because I cheated, as usual, and looked upthe answer in the back of the book.) I have heard the aIr of fire, tire, etc. in dialects as the a in cot and father but never as e in hate. To add my two cents to the French discussion, I too had very pleasant experiences in Paris and also during a four week tour covering 2600 miles of France, north, south, east, and west. The French are not really very cordial toward each other and they don't treat us any differently--except in several cases where they were nicer. I would try my schoolbook French, look hoepful, and say " was that right/?" In every case I was assured that it was *almost* right and when I asked how to correctly say something, the French were very gracious about helping me. Of course, the fact that I obviously liked their red wine probably helped break the ice.