1)E.P.Hamp; 2)Go(ld) Fish!
t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Tue Aug 3 09:15:14 UTC 1999
I might as well throw in two apologies in one message.
1) Re Eric P. Hamp: Sorry, creating "Peter" as Eric's middle name is a
family joke, and I forgot where it came from. I have been reminded,
forcefully, by Peggy Salovesh, who had the bad luck to marry me a long
time ago. I was much luckier: I married her.
Once upon a long time ago, Peggy worked with/for Eric Hamp when he was
in charge of implementing the linguistics part of CIC.
CIC? The Committee on Institutional Cooperation, an arrangement among
the Big Ten universities and The University of Chicago. Under CIC,
students at any of the eleven universities could arrange to register at
their home institutions, paying their normal tuition, while taking
courses at one of the others. Consent of both departments, and of the
specific professors whose courses or supervision were sought by the
non-local student, was a necessary step.
Peggy's job included finding out what linguistics courses were housed
where at each university, who taught them, what kinds of special
knowledge existed among those professors, what special facilities might
be available for linguistics work, and the like, and then finding a
means of summarizing all the information in a form that would make sense
to a student looking for special training and to faculty members trying
to figure out what was going on beyond their own campuses.
(Yeah, I know. Six-line sentences are a bad idea. I couldn't resist
letting the structure of my sentence/paragraph reflect what kind of
hectic task the job was.)
There was a very strict deadline involved, and a tremendous amount of
work to be done as the deadline approached. Peggy and Eric got the job
done, copied, and sent where it was supposed to go on time for its
Monday deadline -- but they had to recruit their spouses to do it. The
last stages sure as hell strained four people in two households that
On Monday, Peggy dragged herself back to her day job as administrative
secretary in the office of the Dean of the Humanities Division at the U
of Chicago. Bright and early, Eric came bouncing in, brimful of his
At supper that night, Peggy commented on the contrast: "There I was,
all petered out, and Eric actually looked refreshed after all that work
over the weekend." I said something about it being obvious that Eric
was all petered in, and one thing led to another: ever afterward, Eric
was Petered in in our minds.
Hence Eric Peter Hamp. I told you, family joke, and my mistake for
slipping it into a message to ADS-L.
2) The utter pedantry of what I said about Go(ld) Fish! was
self-satire run wild. Worse yet, I did it on purpose. I thought it was
hilarious at the time.
(That probably is one of the side effects of my new medications.) The
only serious part of what I said was the part about the Midwesternness
of our family and the fact that we, and our acquaintances, and our kids'
friends, called the game "Go fish!", alternating with "Fish".
Sorry about that.
Talking about "Go(ld) Fish!" last night, Peggy came up with an idea of a
possible source. When our kids were quite young, both liked to snack on
a kind of cracker called "goldfish" -- which they pronounced "go'fish".
As they started to teach themselves to read (before kindergarten), we
handed each of them a book whose title I remember as "ABCD Goldfish".
It builds on the exchange "ABCD Goldfish?"
"LMNO Goldfish!" "OSAR . . . ".
Translation, provided because I didn't give one for Shakespeare's
"nunnery": "Abie, see the goldfish?" "Hell, them ain't no goldfish!"
"Oh, yes they are."
I don't remember if the children's book, as such, picked up the LMNO
part or left it out. I'm quite sure that in our house we always included
it anyhow. When one of our kids came up with "NDC" as the place to CD
Goldfish, that line, too, became part of our family tradition.
The book made our older son give up his "go'fish" pronunciation, in
exchange for a clearly articulated "gold fish" (with double plus
juncture, at that.)
So maybe calling the card game "Goldfish" could be a case of
overgeneralizing the same correction beyond where it would be
appropriate. Call it some kind of hyperurbanism or some other artifact
of language learning. Could this whole thread be based on what was
originally an error becoming a local tradition?
-- mike salovesh <salovesh at niu.edu> PEACE !!!
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