A question for a linguist

Baker, John JBaker at STRADLEY.COM
Fri Jan 19 17:22:25 UTC 2001

        The earliest example with which I am familiar is in W.H. Auden's
poem, The Unknown Citizen, which I believe is from March 1939:

>>Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.<<

        I believe that the current tendency to pronounce "inc." as "ink"
derives from the need of lawyers (like myself) to be clear as to whether
they mean "incorporated" in the full or the abbreviated form.  I don't know
of any good reason to say "ink" unless you are in law or a related field,
and I usually heard it in the full form until I began practising in 1985.

John Baker

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Luanne von Schneidemesser [SMTP:lvonschn at FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU]
> Sent: Friday, January 19, 2001 12:08 PM
> Subject:      Fwd: A question for a linguist
> Could someone help with this question?
> Thanks.
> Luanne
> >
> >>I would like to know when the abbreviation "inc." for incorporated began
> >>being pronounced as "ink" as opposed to "incorporated".
> >>
> >

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