Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 09:10:39 -0500 From: "Dennis R. Preston" Subject: Re: Survey of e-usage Rudy's note on 'drouth' reminds me of the most amazing intra-dialectal misunderstanding I ever suffered. I was old enough to be waiting on customers in my parents' paint and wallpaper store (in New Albany, IN, a northern suburb of Louisville, KY, but you must never identify it that way to the natives; they think the guys on the south side of the river are hillbillies), and a woman walked up to me and asked for a can of 'rawthorn black.' Now, there are, in fact, lots of 'blacks' in a paint store -- lamp black, drop balck, etc..., but no rawthorn. Nervously, I finally got around to asking the woman what she wanted this stuff for. 'So I can paint my WROTH ARN,' she replied, obviously convinced that I was the addled son, and she began to look around for competent assistance. Just like FOURTH FLOOR, however, her slow and stressed pronunciation (especially the last part) allowed me to retrieve 'iron,' (after all, my own pronunciation was close to 'arn') which allowed a quick back-collocation and the retrieval of 'wrought.' Must have been one of those moments that points the way downhill to linguistics. (On a sadder note, I haven't recently thought about linguists 'abiding' various regional or social forms. Oh well.) Dennis >Rudy wrote: > >There are a few >>things like DROUTH that I will never surrender on, the Union Army be damned -- >>we know much more about them in Texas than anyplace else can claim to. > >I can understand DROUTH as dry in the south, but I still can't abide heith >for he ith tall. > >SETH Dennis R. Preston Department of Linguistics and Languages Michigan State University East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Office: (517)432-1235 Fax: (517)432-2736