Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Dec 11 21:38:19 UTC 2000

Matutu is surely a plural.


>I think the "people mover" car or truck has various names in various
>English speaking countries.
>I know in Kenya that call it a matutu. I'd heard that some people in the
>NYC area also call it this because so many drivers are from Africa. I have
>no confirmation of this, however.
>In Liberia they call it a moneybus (even though it's usually a pick-up
>There are probably many other names.
>Joe Pickett
>James Smith <jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM>@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on 12/11/2000
>11:51:48 AM
>Please respond to American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Sent by:  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject:  Re: jitney
>The only use of "jitney" with which I am familiar is
>for cars, vans, and small trucks used in unregulated,
>free-market mass transport in places such as Africa,
>the Phillipines, and Mexico and Central America
>--- Drew Danielson <drew.danielson at CMU.EDU> wrote:
>> OK, first let me acknowledge that my grammar tanked
>> in my last message.
>> I hereby "grammar-flame" myself.
>> I did some reading on the word "jitney" yesterday.
>> From what I was able
>> to dig up on the Internet, it generally refers to
>> independently-owned or
>> private vans or small buses that usually follow a
>> fixed route.  But
>> sites that describe a "jitney" in Pittsburgh
>> consistently refer to
>> independently-owned, for-hire cars (with drivers).
>> In an informal
>> interview with a Pittsburgher at the gas station
>> where I bought some
>> cigarettes last night the gentleman stated,
>> "Pittsburgh's cornered the
>> market on jitneys."
>> I wasn't able to find this definition in connection
>> to other cities
>> (searching on google.com for "jitney" "[name of
>> city]").  The Victoria
>> Transport Policy Institute defines "jitney" thusly,
>> "[j]itney services
>> use vans or small buses to provide self-financing,
>> privately operated
>> transit service."  In this case, it's used as a
>> technical term for a
>> type of shuttle service.
>> Note:  In my searching, I found that there's a play
>> by August Wilson
>> about a Pittsburgh jitney driver currently playing
>> on Broadway (it's
>> called: "Jitney").
>James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
>SLC, UT                        |it is that we will be sued
>jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
>                               |or slowly and cautiously.
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Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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