Yodel disease

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 31 21:37:15 UTC 2006

But, once upon a time, the yodel was an integral part of American life. Even
the Mississippi Sheikhs, an old-time, all-black, blues-singing group,
recorded at least one song featuring yodeling. a blues about a Texas cowboy.
One of my high-school classmates, Richard Riehemann (with that name, perhaps
he was of Swiss descent) was a yodeler, his tour-de-force being "Chime
Bells," and no one thought it strange. Oh. Wait. That was a half-century
ago. And the Sheikhs date a further 25 years back.

IAC, my WAG is that it refers to the unpredictability factor inherent in
yodeling and compares it to the unpredictability of gaining asylum,
depending as it does on which randomly-chosen judge hears your case.


On 7/31/06, Damien Hall <halldj at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Damien Hall <halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Yodel disease
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> This morning I came across the term 'yodel disease' in a headline from the
> Philadelphia *Metro*'s News in Brief section.  The article in question
> was,
> fittingly, only one sentence long, so I can quote it in its entirety:
> ================
> Immigration judges vary sharply in their willingness to grant asylum to
> foreigners - with denial rates ranging from 10 percent to more than 98
> percent.'
> Philadelphia *Metro*, 31 July 2006, p12
> ===============
> 'Yodel disease' gets no Googlits.  ('Yodeling disease' gets five, all from
> the
> same website, but, as far as I can work out, they are irrelevant (because
> they
> refer to someone with an inordinate fondness for yodelling);  'yodelling
> disease' gets one, but it is definitely irrelevant.)  Needless to say, the
> term's not (yet?) in the *OED*, and I don't have my *MW* by me to check
> it.
> I have never heard the term 'yodel disease' before;  from this article, I
> presume that it means 'an aversion to alien things / modes of life as
> exhibited
> by foreigners', the yodel being an extreme example of something that's
> just not
> part of the average American's life.
> Has anyone else heard the term, or is it yet another example of the
> *Metro*
> sub-editors' wonderful art?  (Other headlines and captions on photos in
> the
> past have really made me smile;  I think some of these people are destined
> for
> great, creative things if they can get out of the sub-editors' office!)
> Damien Hall
> University of Pennsylvania
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out
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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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