"difference" = difficulty; issues; busghetti

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 2 16:05:24 UTC 2007

At 6:01 AM -0800 1/2/07, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>This site identifies signs that your child may have a "learning difference" :
>   http://www.readingassist.org/traits.htm
>   One trait: mispronouncing words, like saying "busghetti."

Interesting.  No doubt all those metatheses (and no doubt other
instances of sound change) in the history of language can be
attributed to children with learning differences...

>Other chracteristics that suggest a mere "difference" are
>Doesn't know his own strength and may squeeze too tightly.
>Can't remember his left from his right...gets lost easily.
>   (As observed earlier, there are no more "problems" or
>"difficulties," only "challenges," "situations," and "issues." A
>United ticket agent told me just after the Denver blizzard that DIP
>"still has issues.")
>   Surprisingly, Usenet provides fewer than a dozen hits for
>"busghetti" and "busgetti" combined, none earlier than 2000. I first
>noticed it about 1995. I don't have it handy, but I've seen a
>printed ex. in one of Barbara Park's extremely popular "Junie B.
>Jones" books.
>   JL
Alternate spellings are possible, sometimes reflecting alternate
pronunciations:  pisket(t)i, pisg(h)eti, etc.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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