"ain't gonna back down"

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Thu Sep 12 16:13:15 UTC 2002

Dennis R. Preston said:
>Hmmmmm. Isn't all spelling normative? Should I respell all
>Northerners who conflate 'hoarse' and 'horse'? Should I be annoyed to
>find my 'pen' spelled 'pin'? I think there is a
>'phonological-morphological' line for respellings (which I wrote
>about pretty extensively in the Journal of American Folklore many
>years ago but raised the ire of many folklorists who seemed eager to
>defend their "quaint" spellings). It was odd, however, that this
>quaintness seemed to be used on for quaint people, a peculiarly
>unrelativistic stance, one would think, especially for folklorists,
>who ought to have some anthropological moxie).

Agreed...and the point I was trying to make is that the people who
are doing transcripts of public figures' remarks aren't working with
the same set of assumptions that we as linguists are about what the
transcript should be. I'm kinda surprised that we're so surprised by

Alice Faber                                             faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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