Covert Charge/Cats/Chops

Mark Odegard markodegard at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 28 05:37:29 UTC 2001

Laurence Horn

>My understanding is that "covert" had traditionally been pronounced
>like "cover" except with a final -[t] until fairly recently when
>influence by its (etymologically unrelated but) frequent syntagmatic
>partner and paradigmatic counterpart "overt" led to the 'ko-vert'
>pronunciation you mention.  If this is right, phonology alone
>wouldn't rule out the derivation you're seeking to dismiss, although
>I hold no brief for it (or against it) myself.

But no night-club owner who wanted to impose a 'covert-charge' would ever
phrase it this way. Rather, he would not speak of it at all, and just charge
$100 for the bottle of Andre you can get here in Waukon at three for $10.00
at Quillins. But this would be bad for business. The 'entertainment charge'
gets collected, and you sell the bottle of Andre for only $20.00 a bottle.
And the customer feels only mildly ripped off, vs.

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