Suggestive Names

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jun 13 13:27:29 UTC 2006

At 6:16 AM -0400 6/13/06, Geoff Nathan wrote:
>Automatic digest processor wrote:
>>>Re: suggestive names
>>>Benjamin Zimmer
>>><mailto:bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU><bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
>>>Sat, 10 Jun 2006 17:28:19 -0400
>>>On 6/10/06, Laurence Horn
>>><mailto:laurence.horn at><laurence.horn at> wrote:
>>>>>Another good example is the chain of bars "Fuddpuckers".
>>>>cf. "You ain't so muckin' fuch."  I guess metathesis is a common form
>>>>of disingenuous taboo avoidance...
>>>Wikipedia's list of spoonerisms includes many more:
>Although it's not strictly on track I can't resist adding a piece of
>Linguistic folklore from back when I (and several others on this
>list) were young 'uns.  Back in Generative Semantics days there was
>much to-do about 'vice versa', and wandering around orally (I don't
>think it was ever published) was the perfect 'vice versa' sentence
>(attributed to someone many folks on this list know, but I'll omit
>her name as a gesture towards the fact that we were all wilder then.)
>     I'm too fucking busy, and vice versa.

Actually, we've discussed this on the list; it's a mot attributed to
Dorothy Parker ("Tell him I'm too fucking busy, and vice versa").  As
I recall, there was the usual debate over whether this was an actual
or apocryphal witticism--in either case, it is at least the classic
"mot d'escalier".


>Geoffrey S. Nathan
>Department of English/Computing and Information Technology
>Wayne State University
>Detroit, MI, 48202
><mailto:geoffnathan at><geoffnathan at>
>Phones:  C&IT (313) 577-1259/English (313) 577-8621
>------------------------------------------------------------ The
>American Dialect Society -

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