Fritz Juengling Friolly at AOL.COM
Fri Jul 12 17:03:39 UTC 2002

In a message dated 7/12/02 8:45:42 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU writes:

> On the other hand, I distinguish hawk-hawk (though not merry/marry/Mary,
> etc.) and find it outlandish that anyone would merge them,
Of course you do.  Most people who do not merge items find it odd that others
do.  I am sure that if we could resurrect an Anglo-Saxon, he would find it
outlandish that we now merge 'kn' and 'n' as in 'knee.'
I had a phonetics professor once who was bothered by my merger of pin/pen.
He just could not figure out how I would ever know which was which and when
to spell 'pen.'  Well, first off, I always know what I mean to say, but I
answered him by asking how he would know which [nait] he meant--knight or
night-- ([rait] would have been better--right, write, rite, wright).  Context
tells what you mean and, as far as spelling goes, it's more or less a matter
of memorization. Writing <e> for /i/ does not bother me any more than writing
 <gh> for /nothing/ Our Ango-Saxon buddy would be astounded to hear all four
[rait]s as homophones--he would have had 4 different pronunciations.
I find it equally as outlandish that people do not merge them 'hawk' and
'hock.'  It just seems a bothersome distinction.
When I wrote that this might be a Wash/Oregon isogloss, I was not serious.

and yet I was
> just as surprised as Allen and Anne to learn that I'm apparently surrounded
> by people who do (merge them).  I apparently "project" my pronunciation on
> those around me.  I don't think there's a Washington/Oregon isogloss,
> though I

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