Shays's Rebellion

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Dec 1 19:16:22 UTC 2005

I have always assumed that (e.g.) those who pronounce it shayz will
spell it Shays' (although that leaves some ambiguity in transcribing
utterances to writing, I suppose) -- and those who pronounces it
shayz-ez will spell it Shays's.


At 12/1/2005 11:45 AM, you wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       FRITZ JUENGLING <juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US>
>Subject:      Re: Shays's Rebellion
>I'm with you on the pronunciation--I've never heard as anything
>other than Shays.  I think, though, that maybe it should be Shayzez, or?
>This reminds me of something that I hear quite frequently--
>Jesus'(s) church pronounced as Jesus church.  To me it should be
>Jesus-ez church.
> >>> write at SCN.ORG 11/30/05 05:48PM >>>
>I teach middle school, and my students are just starting on the
>Constitution.  Reading the Constitution is a big challenge for them, and
>I'm always impressed with the questions they ask.
>Today it was about Shays's Rebellion, an event that most history books
>discuss as one of the reasons the country moved from the Articles of
>Confederation to the Constitution.  Most books spell it Shays's.  The
>leader was Daniel Shays.  I have always heard it pronounced Shays not
>We had a good discussion about this, but I could not explain why what I
>think should either be spelled Shays' or pronounced Shay-es isn't.  Any

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