mmmkay? and its kin

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri Jul 2 16:50:49 UTC 2004

On Jul 2, 2004, at 4:48 AM, Dennis R. Preston wrote, about South Park:

> My bad. It's the counselor (Mr. Markey?), not Mr. Garrison (the
> teacher with the hand puppets), as my viewing of Cartman unwillingly
> giving up a kidney for Stan revealed last night.

so there seems to be a general feeling that South Park was an, if not
the, agent of spread.  but was the bilabial version an invention of the
writers, or were they merely exaggerating a feature already in use?

the velar version goes back way before South Park.  it was one of the
things that struck geoff pullum about american english, on his first
visit to the u.s., exactly thirty years ago.  i had noticed it years
before that, but (since i didn't have the feature myself) hadn't
realized that it was a specifically american thing.

arnold (zwicky at

More information about the Ads-l mailing list