Charles Wells charles at FREUDE.COM
Sun Jun 16 00:54:24 UTC 2002

The usage of "why" as in "Why, I'll be" feels to me to be something I
learned later in life, maybe even from books.  That might be why I don't
make the distinction.


>You are the first southerner (who apparently had the hw/w
>distinction) who has reported this in my experience (and I have been
>citing this /hw/ for why? /w/ for why! for some time). Unless I get
>more testimonials, I fear I will have to consider it an idiosyncrasy
>(no shame to you or yours I hope).
>>I say /hwai/ for both uses.  I am a native of Atlanta born in 1937 and
>>raised in Georgia until I was 18.
>>--Charles Wells
>>>What is the origin of the interjection "why", as in "Why, you little
>>>rascal!", "Why, I'll be damned!", etc.?
>>>I just now realized that the pronunciation is different (in my background)
>>>from the interrogative "why" -- i.e., I would pronounce "why" in "Why me?"
>>>as /hwai/ but "why" in "Why, I'll be!" as /wai/ ... and surely at least
>>>many of my family and childhood friends would have done the same. Just a
>>>local peculiarity? Or a personal misconception?
>>>-- Doug Wilson
>>Charles Wells
>>professional website: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/math/wells/home.html
>>personal website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/index.html
>>genealogical website:
>>NE Ohio Sacred Harp website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/sh.htm
>Dennis R. Preston
>Professor of Linguistics
>Department of Linguistics and Languages
>740 Wells Hall A
>Michigan State University
>East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
>Office - (517) 353-0740
>Fax - (517) 432-2736

Charles Wells
professional website: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/math/wells/home.html
personal website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/index.html
genealogical website:
NE Ohio Sacred Harp website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/sh.htm

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