Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 14:16:00 -0600
From: "Donald M. Lance" engdl[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU
Subject: Re: "O. K." again; "Missoury" again
Donald Lance has probably collected these, but various writers avoided
the problem altogether by using the spelling Mizzoury instead of Missouri.
In the Long Branch (NJ) Record of 6 July 1900, pg. 2, cols. 2-3, is a story
taken from the Home Journal (NY) called "Missoury Heleny," by Juliette M.
Babbitt. She probably meant to say Mizzoury.
Thanks, Barry. No, I haven't been searching print sources. No time for
that with everything else I do. So if you have a handy list I wouldn't
mind your sending it to me privately or ads-ly
A curious thing about -ss- / -zz- is that many people never notice the
z-pronunciation for the ss-spelling. Very early in this century a scholar
wrote an article (Ole Heimer won't let me remember which at the moment)
pointing out that the z-pronunciation follows Verner's Law regarding stress
and the pronunciation of -s-, as we hear also in 'dessert' and some other
words. Because it follows a "live" Germanic rule, many people don't notice
that the z-pronunciation violates the French pronunciation rule that Barry
Popik has assumed to rule in this case (poison vs poisson).
Around the turn of the century, Missouri newspaper articles and editorials
were making noises in support of the French-rule pronunciation of the
consonant, but local usage has hissed them down. A few people do say the
name with the s-pronunciation. Some say the state is Misery. Allen Walker
Read cited a number of these newspapers in his 1935 article in American