Date: Sun, 16 Nov 1997 14:16:00 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: "O. K." again; "Missoury" again >MISSOURY > > 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 Speech.