A nursery rhyme

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Tue Jul 20 20:37:39 UTC 2004

At 04:12 PM 7/20/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>On Tue, 20 Jul 2004, Barbara Need wrote:
> >>There was a little girl
> >>And she had a little curl
> >>Right in the middle of her forehead.
> >>When she was good, she was very, very good.
> >>But when she was bad, she was horehead?/hoarhead?/whorehead? ...?
> >>
> >>-Wilson Gray
> >
> >Except that forehead "should" be (used to be) pronounced something
> >like forid (and therefore rhymed with horrid).
><Should be?> No - IS. I have always pronounced forehead to rhyme
>w/horrid. (se TX, AR, MO, LA, London, TX, TN)

Not me.  I've always said fore-head (MN, MO, IN, OH).  But I'm reminded of
Bloomfield's article on "Literate and Illiterate Speech" (Dale Coye
reminded me of it too), where he writes, on the last page, "Similarly,
'forrid' is preferred to the logically more explicable 'fore-head'."  This
is in the context of "preferring" 'You had better do it' over 'You ought
better (to) do it', "although the latter [ought better] accords with the
general forms of our syntax."  He also says "'I dove' is not so good as 'I
dived', 'I ain't' not so good as 'I'm not'" in terms of
acceptability.  He's acknowledging the vagaries of "preference," of course,
in the context of "good and bad" Menomini.  But when my students read this,
they're always puzzled by 'forrid'--who on earth says that, they ask.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list