"Merry Christmas"

Bruce Hunter bhunter3 at MINDSPRING.COM
Fri Dec 31 14:21:32 UTC 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Prucher" <jprucher at YAHOO.COM>
> --- "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
> > and now barry popik reminds us:
> > John Lennon used "Happy Christmas." I thought this usage was famous. He used to be in a group called the Beatles. They sold a few records...
>> _Happy Christmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon  (Lyrics and Chords)_
> > by the way, did lennon move into "merry" territory late in his life?
> > as peter trudgill has documented, the beatles became more (americanly)
> > r-ful as they aged.  did this effect extend to christmas greetings?
> This is all rather before my time, but Lennon actually used both "Happy
> Christmas" and "Merry Christmas" in the lyrics of the song.  It could be that
> "happy" was his normal usage, but he needed to use "merry" because "happy happy
> Christmas and a happy New Year" sounds goofy.  Or it could be he used both
> himself and didn't see any inconsistency.  Or something else entirely.  But he
> did use both at that time.
> -Jeff Prucher
_An Itinerary_, a travel book written by Fynes Morysen Gent, has the words, "Merry" and "Christmas", appear together. Oh, almost forgot, published in 1617. This is according to Nicholas A. Basbanes, in _Among the Gently Mad_.
Bruce Hunter

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