Vegan prescriptivism

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 29 04:02:36 UTC 2001

At 11:20 AM -0400 6/29/01, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>... I've never heard 'veganism' pronounced with a soft 'g'!
>"Gaol" [so written] with /dZ/ is mostly British, "veganism" with /dZ/
>mostly US (I think), "margarine" with /dZ/ ecumenical ... but I've mostly
>avoided these three unhappy subjects (knock on wood). (^_~)*> [<--
>head-knocking emoticon, extemporaneous]
>I've mostly heard "vegan" /vEdZ at n/ (meaning "herbivore") ... but mostly
>"Vegan" /vig at n/ (meaning "resident of the vicinity of the star Vega" or
>so). I have little need for these words, although I suppose it is remotely
>possible that I might emigrate to Vega some day, given some technological
>breakthroughs ... if they have good food there ....
>-- Doug Wilson

Weird. This bears further investigation.  I've almost always heard
/vi:g at n/ (rhyming with Keegan or (Major) Deegan) for the gustatorily
constrained sense (both adjective and noun), never /vEdZ at n/ (rhyming
with "hedgin'").  Is there a well-defined isogloss for the two
pronunciations, or what?  (It has certainly not been my experience
that the latter is the standard U.S. version--especially among those
of the relevant orientation, it seems to be virtually always /vi:g at n/
that I hear.  Possible homonymy with the 'inhabitant of Vega' sense
does not seem to be a problem.


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