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CHAT Re: Spelling pronunciations (multiple)

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 5:43
Tristan and others have written:

> >>/@gejn(st)/ seems British to me, and > >>/Et/ comes across as an archaic vulgarism, the sort of thing my father > >>(1904-1993) said when he was being funny. > >>
To us midwesterners back in the 40s, [@'gejn ~@'gejnst] was hoity-toity Eastern, positively reeking of Wall Street upper-crustism and FDR. (I've gotten over that, however; but I say [@'gIn ~@'gInst) ------------------------------------------
> > > >My grandmother (born 1920) was raised on a farm in the north eastern > >corner of Kansas, and she often says /Et/ where I say /ejt/. To me the > >use of /Et/ has a Kansan quality to it, much like using /wArS/ for > >/wAS/
Ooooh, [Et], along with [ejnt] and [wArS ~wOrS]-- stigmatized x 1000!!!! The bane of school-marms. I assure you, [wOrS] occurs; it's one of those quaint Southernisms that we Northerners find amusing, in our condescending way. Happily, even some Southerners make fun of it-- my good friend from Texas used to say (with a smirk) "I'll warsh the dishes, you can [rEntS] (=rinse) them". Also, "Let's have a [drANk]" (drink). And wasn't there a song not so long ago called "Wild Thang"? And the laundromat in the college town I once worked in had WARSHATERIA in big letters on its front window. ------------------------------ Re Vest. In the US, mainly the 3d piece of a 3-piece suit; in pinstripes, much favored by the banking community. It used to be (but probably isn't anymore) somewhat gauche to appear in your vest without the suit coat. For a while something called a "sweater-vest" was popular; it buttoned up the front and was essentially a Cardigan sweater without sleeves. (Old joke from a friend in the ad game: "Not a soap! Not a cream! It's a soap-cream!!") When I was a child, an _undershirt_ was always white, flimsy cotton, with little shoulder straps and a scooped neck. It was very gauche, indeed déclassé, to appear in one in public (immigrants did.....). That seems to be your singlet, UK vest, current US slang wife-beater. Singlet in the US (?) seems to refer mainly to the one-piece garment that HS, collegiate and Olympic wrestlers wear. Nowadays, "tank-top" is the same thing, only in colors and somewhat more substantial fabric, and sufficiently stylish that one can wear them in public. Like stretch pants and short shorts, however, some people shouldn't.......... Sometime after WW 2, the T-shirt became popular as an undergarment; perhaps because they were issued to our troops in the war?? They usurped the name "undershirt". For a long time, they too were white only, and somewhat more acceptable in public, unless you had your cigarette pack rolled-up in the sleeve, which marked you as a hood or Juvenile Delinquent.... Nowadays of course they come in all colors and often Make a Statement. A T-shirt without sleeves (sometimes form-fitting) is a "muscle shirt". Ain't fashion fun!? (Hmph, just noticed: in order to make my keyboard "international", I had to set it to "Canadian"-- so now it's telling me that "favored" and "colors" in the above are mis-spelled.)


Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>