On Campbells and camels
maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Thu Aug 3 13:15:46 UTC 2000
> I wonder if the "camel" pronunciation is South Midland or SM-Southern?
I think I'm a datum supporting its being Southern. The reason I say
"I think" is that I'm pretty sure I have at least a tiny hint of the
[b] in it most of the time now. I'm not sure that I always have,
though. Nor did the people around me in childhood since I remember
thinking that a neighbor up the street had an odd first name -- his
name to my ears was "Camel McCool." I thought being named Camel was
weird. Later I learned that it was spelled Campbell.
I just did a test on my elderly mother, whom I'm visiting at the moment,
but my wise methodology didn't work. I asked her whether she remembered
the McCools in our old Jackson neighborhood. She did. I then asked if
she remembered the first name of their son. She didn't. Then I asked
her if she remembered the last name of my elementary-school friend named
Cay. She didn't. (Her memory is off and on these days.) So finally I
wrote Campbell and asked her how she pronounced it. There was a [b].
She agreed that she might be pronouncing it more self-consciously when
looking at it, though. When I told her why I was asking, her thought
about it was the same as mine -- that she thinks she has a little bit
of a [b] in it but not very much.
She was born January 1914 in Huntsville, AL, but lived most of her life
in Mississippi. I was born March 1943 in Jackson, MS, and have spent
almost all of my life in Mississippi.
--Natalie Maynor (maynor at ra.msstate.edu)
More information about the Ads-l