Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 14:16:00 -0600


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