rocks and stones
Dennis R. Preston
preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Nov 19 11:09:50 UTC 2003
Hmmmm. I don't think my semantic split is idiosyncratic. Stones (in
general, not specialized uses like "precious stones") are smooth,
rounded, etc...; rocks are sharp, craggy, and uneven.
>At 2:12 PM -0500 11/18/03, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>>I've never heard that Eastern and urban people prefer 'stones' over
>>'rocks'. What's bumpkin about rocks???
>That's why we effete types always, but always, order our single-malt
>scotch on the stones. (Seriously, i was also going to say the Dolly
>Parton line was an allusion to the stones that people who live in
>glass houses shouldn't throw, but I was beaten to the catapult.)
>>At 07:45 AM 11/18/2003 -0800, you wrote:
>>>Never heard the song but my guess is that, rather than
>>>there being a cultural reason for the change, Dolly
>>>prefers the the sound of "stones" over "rocks".
>>>Certainly there must be an on-line discussion covering
>>>of every nuance of Dolly's life and music.
>>>--- Orin Hargraves <orinkh at CARR.ORG> wrote:
>>>> Here's something that's been bugging me: Dolly
>>>> Parton released a song in
>>>> 1980, "Shattered Image," with a recurring line,
>>>> "shatter my image with the
>>>> rocks you throw." It is recorded in a new version on
>>>> her relatively recent
>>>> (2002) album "Halos and Horns," but the word
>>>> "rocks" is systematically
>>>> changed to "stones" throughout. What's that about?
>>>> "Rocks" is certainly the
>>>> word I would have chosen in the context, but
>>>> somewhere along the line I got
>>>> a notion that "stones" would be the choice for an E
>>>> coast or urban speaker.
>>>> She has always touted rather than tried to disguise
>>>> her bumpkin origins, so
>>>> I wonder what the vocab makeover was about. Any
>>>> ideas or inside info?
>>>> Orin Hargraves
>>>> (at one time neither E coast nor urban)
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