A pair pants/ next store vs next door

Rudolph C Troike rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU
Fri Jun 21 05:04:31 UTC 2002

A colleague in Creative Writing recently shared these real-life
attestations with me. The "next store" one sounds like one of those
"plausible" stories circulated on the internet, but he swears it really
happened. (The discussion arose because his NYC-born wife used the
form "a scissor".)


On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Robert Houston wrote:

Dear Rudy,

        Reminds me of the time I was trying to get my class to learn to write
"a couple of things," vs. "a couple things." by saying to them, "After all,
you don't say 'a pair pants,' do you?"  One poor kid from NYC looked
stricken and said, "I say that.  Is it wrong?"

And that ranks up there with the freshman girl from Brooklyn who was raised
in an apartment above her parents' Italian grocery store, on a street
where all her neighbors lived in like circumstances.  Until I found that out
about her, I was going nuts trying to figure out why she keep writing
"next store" for "next door."



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