tangent to fronter/backer
James A. Landau
JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Jun 22 15:47:41 UTC 2002
In a message dated 06/22/2002 11:14:58 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
einstein at FROGNET.NET writes:
> I make the speaking-to-horses click on the right side, but I'm right handed:
> do left-handers click on the left side?
Not handedness. Race.
The white man (and white women, too) mounts horses from the left side. I am
told the reason is that from the left allows one to use one's "strong right
arm" to aid in mounting. Hence a white would "make the speaking-to-horses
click on the right side" since s/he is to the left and the horse is to the
For some reason that no one has ever explained to me, Native Americans (or at
least the Plains Indians) always mounted a horse from the right. And a
horse, I am told, once trained to being mounted from one side, will not let a
rider mount from the other side.
On Jeopardy once there were two white and one African-American contestants.
The question, answered by one of the whites, was about which side to mount a
horse from. Alex Trebek accepted "what is from the left". The correct
answer should have been "what is from the left if you're white, from the
right if you're a Native American, and you'll have to ask [the
African-American contestant] what he does."
By the way, my sister would like to know who Alex Trebek's dialect coach is.
- Jim Landau
PS. About identifying the "MLA" as a linguistics society---I recalled that
the ADS holds joint meetings with someone, and not having the newsletter
handy I couldn't look up who it was, but the initials "MLA" came to mind.
This brings up a question: if there really were a "Modern Linguistics
Association", would it allow discussions of proto-Indo-European?
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