down the middle or across

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Thu Jul 22 22:46:31 UTC 2004

>First, this comment assumes rounded-top bread; not all was; some was
>square. In fact, it was often called "sandwich bread," as I recall.

Second, it assumes that the so-called horizontal cut went
across,leaving a top and bottom half. Why couldn't it go down,
leaving two sides?

Of course, I, and nobody on my family, never cut no sandwiches on the
diagonal (until we were introduced to yuppie customs, luckily, later
in life, after our family values were well established).


>I agree with Doug that cutting a sandwich horizontally (so the top half is
>rounded and the bottom half is squared off) would be weird.  When I was a
>kid my Dad always cut sandwiches down the middle vertically (so the two
>halves were symmetrical).  We didn't have any particular word for that, but
>Mom always cut them "catty-cornered" (not "diagonally").
>Peter Mc.
>--On Thursday, July 22, 2004 3:25 PM -0400 Beverly Flanigan
><flanigan at OHIOU.EDU> wrote:
>>No, no--we always cut sandwiches horizontally when I was a kid!  But when
>>I got older, I learned it was more "proper" to cut diagonally (I never
>>called that "across").
>>At 03:01 PM 7/22/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>>>Cutting the sandwich across would definitely mean cutting it diagonally.
>>>And, fwiw, cutting it through the *other* (horizontal) middle seems very
>>>very freaky to me.  I would not eat that sandwich.  And I have no words
>>>to describe how such a sandwich is cut.  Just.... wrong.
>>>Douglas S. Bigham
>>>Department of Linguistics
>>>University of Texas - Austin
>Peter A. McGraw       Linfield College        McMinnville, Oregon
>******************* pmcgraw at ************************

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages
A-740 Wells Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 432-3099
Fax: (517) 432-2736
preston at

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