Date: Sun, 20 Nov 1994 02:00:00 LCL
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" 104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA
Subject: afterthought on braids
when people say "braids" they usually mean braided pigtails (a la
pippi longstocking?) because that's the prototypical way (in u.s.
culture, at least) of wearing braids (plural). but i could say "bo
derek had her hair in braids" or "...wore braids" meaning cornrows as
well, if the context allowed it. i do think, though that "braids"
have to hang. so, if you had someone with a cornrowed style that
stayed close to the scalp, i'd say that their hair is "braided" not
that it's in "braids". (however, "braided" can be used for hanging
braids as well.)
i would not be at all surprised to learn that in addition to (or
instead of) regional differences, one would find gender differences
in the interpretation of these words. i know i've had arguments w/
men from the same region about their use of hairstyle names that i
didn't believe were accurate descriptions. (things like: him: if
you're hot, put your hair in pigtails. me: pigtails are for kids.
him: you always wear a pigtail. me: that's a ponytail, there's a
M. Lynne Murphy e-mail: 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]muse.arts.wits.ac.za
Lecturer, Dept. of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340
University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030
Johannesburg 2050 South Africa