t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Tue Apr 27 19:54:09 UTC 1999
"A. Maberry" wrote:
> They're all [vesez] to me--there's cheap ones and there's expensive ones.
[vaz] and [vez] are two different words, not pronunciation variants.
Convincing proof of that contention is available in the recorded speech
and movie soundtracks of a gentleman (?) whose numerous pseudonyms
would repay an intensive study all their own: W.C. Fields.
In Fields's form of pseudosnob English, the word "vase" -- or [vaz], if
you will -- rhymes with the first syllable of "raspberry".
The contortions needed to pronounce anything spelled "rasp" into an
utterance that rhymes with [vaz] are as insane as playing billiards with
a crooked cue. That makes it no surprise that W.C. Fields accomplished
the feat -- he played a pretty mean game of billiards with a cue that
had more switchbacks than any old county highway in the middle of the
I guarantee the accuracy of my report on how the words are pronounced.
If you believe my etymology, however, I'd like to sell you this bridge
to Brookline, Mass, "which I also keep handy . . . "
Note: It is an error to think that the bridge allegedly sold in con
games had anything to do with any part of New York City. The whole
point of the scam was that the Brookline Bridge sold to the victims was
entirely fictional. The victims, credulous to the end, concluded that
since they had paid for a bridge, it had to exist. The Brooklyn Bridge
was the only real bridge they could find whose name sounded like the one
they had been told was theirs. Once they happened on that very concrete
reality, they were convinced that it had to be theirs.
Well, they were wrong.
-- mike salovesh <salovesh at niu.edu> PEACE !!!
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