Lego vs. Legos: Americanism? Regionalism?

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Tue Jul 31 14:39:45 UTC 2007

At 10:28 AM 7/31/2007, you wrote:
>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: Lego vs. Legos: Americanism? Regionalism?
>On Jul 30, 2007, at 6:46 PM, Larry Horn wrote:
> > At 9:23 PM -0400 7/30/07, Alice Faber wrote:
> >>
> >> I was Lego-age in the 50's, and I don't recall having Legos alongside
> >> the Lincoln logs that I do remember fondly. But my cousins, who are
> >> about 5 years younger than I am, did have Legos. So I would guess
> >> that
> >> they became widespread in the early 60s. And, indeed, Google turns up
> >> the following page
> >> <>, which
> >> says that
> >> Legos were introduced to the US in 1962, though they were around
> >> earlier
> >> in Denmark.
> >>
> > Hmmm.  That's consistent with my (non-)memory of Legos in the 1950's,
> > but not with Arnold's distinct memory of having played with them
> > "well over 50 years ago".  Maybe Arnold's set was smuggled in from
> > Europe, hidden between those copies of Lady Chatterley and Ulysses?
>maybe my memory is just wrong.  i might have projected the Legos back
>from my daughter's childhood to my own.  i don't recall any time when
>Legos were "new", so i might have re-worked my memory in such a way
>that they were always there.  that sort of thing happens a lot.  (as
>you all know, i am repeatedly distrustful of reports about linguistic
>usages from the past, when there's no documentation.  everybody's
>memories -- my own included -- about such things are notoriously
>undependable, and people can be absolutely certain of memories that
>are in fact significantly flawed.)
>arnold the unmemorious
>The American Dialect Society -

But we DO remember Erector sets and Lincoln Logs, right, Arnold?!  Not to
mention plain old wooden blocks.

The American Dialect Society -

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