Schedule (sk-/sh-?) etc. etc.

Bethany K. Dumas dumasb at UTK.EDU
Wed Jan 31 01:10:11 UTC 2001

Lynne weote:

>> >Rest assured that plenty of Americans say 'I couldn't care less', and most
>> >(I hope all) American English teachers correct 'I could care less' when
>> >they come across it.
>> Why? It represents a natural and predictable reduction of a sequence
>> containing
>> /dntk/, not exactly an ordinary English sequence.
>Well, in writing the phonological reduction is not quite relevant--we don't
>spell phonetically in English most of the time.

I was not thinking of writing, I was thinking of epeech. I have seldom seen "I
could care less" in writing except in quoted dialogue.


>But even in writing, the 'naturalness' of phonological reduction is not a
>good excuse for leaving out semantically relevant information.  On this
>logic, it would be permissible to pronounce "I could carry that" when you
>mean "I couldn't carry it".

A friend of mine (a linguist who does hang out here, so far as I know) tells
the story of proposing to his wife and being momentarily uncerain whether she
had said (softly), "I want to" or something like "I won't do it." Some of us
do not need an excuse to leave out semantically relevant information!


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