Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Thu Jul 11 18:40:02 UTC 2002

On Thu, 11 Jul 2002, Gordon, Matthew J. wrote:

#I can confirm Dennis' prediction. I am a degenerate conflater of low
#back vowels (though my soul may be salvaged by my maintenance of the
#pen/pin distinction). I don't think I've ever seen 'hawk' in the
#meaning of "sell" written. If I had heard someone using it, I would
#have guessed the intended form was 'hock'.

Vice versa here. "Hawking one's wares" is a well-established expression
for me, with a basic connotation of selling them on the street and
calling them out to passersby, and a general sense of selling and
promoting them. To me, the verb "hock" means "pawn", and if I heard
about someone /'hakIN/ their goods I would assume either that the
speaker was a conflater and meant 'selling', or that that s/he meant
'pawning'. If I read "hocking one's wares" I would assume either
'pawning' or misspelling.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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