Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 21:22:15 -0400


Subject: Re: Business/[bIdnIs]

On Thu, 4 May 1995, Beth Lee Simon wrote:

The C&W duo, Brooks & Dunn, from Texas, wrote a tune, "I'm A Hard-Workin'

Man," in which they sing, quite distinctly,

"Come Monday mornin' I'm the first to arrive [=at a work place where he


a hammer and also paints]

I ain't nothin' but [bIdnIs] y'all from nine to five.

I'm a hard-workin' man."

In an interview, about the time this album/cd came out, the one of them

who is the lead singer said, several times, "I love this [bIznIs]."

and "The music [bIznIs] is the only thing I ever wanted to do."

nothing but [bIdnIs] = serious, hard-working

business = business


I wonder if this is a legitimate attestation of the meaning distinction

between the two forms, or if it is rather an example of dialect

switching, using one for the song and another for an interview. I.e., would

the singer also use "ain't nothin'" in an interview, and would he use

"hard-workin'" or would he switch to "hard-working"?

I agree. Pop music lyricists often use constructions and idioms in songs

that they would never use in conversation or other written communications,

often as a way to quickly identify the song's characters in the listener's

mind. Using [bIdnIs], "ain't nothin'" and "hard-workin'" is a shorthand

way of letting the listener know that the character is just folks.

Also, as an amateur lyricist, I noticed that [bIdnIs] takes slightly but

noticeably less time to say or sing than [bIznIs]; shorter words are much

easier to fit into a vocal melody.



Stewart Allensworth Mason

PO Box 4056

Portales NM 88130


1. _Afoot_--Let's Active (1983)

2. _Lights Out with the Sneetches!_--The Sneetches (1985)

3. (tie) _Beat Surrender_/_The Bitterest Pill_--The Jam (1982)

4. _Run Now_--Tommy Keene (1987)

5. _Baroque Hoedown_--The Three O'Clock (1983)

6. _Chronic Town_--R.E.M. (1982)