Heard on The Judges: sE > to BE

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue Apr 8 15:02:14 UTC 2008

Almost certainly the case, and recall that I continue to be
interested in people providing me with even further examples of
obligatory nonstandards.


What do you think of (or "How bout") them (never "those") apples.

You the ("da") man (never "You are the man").

/Si:It/ for metaphoric uses, but never for feces. (/SIt/ is OK for both uses.)
(/S/ = palatal sibilant)

You can't go to "Dunking Donuts," even if you claim to never "drop your g's."

Are there any obligatory "ain'ts"? Others?


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject:      Heard on The Judges: sE > to BE
>Some may recall that I once claimed that, regardless of a speaker's
>usual register, he tends to move it toward the working-class norm,
>when using slang or slang-like expressions.
>Middle-class, black, male speaker complaining about his cheating wife:
>She was unbelievable, your honor! She _wadn_ cool at at all. She would
>call me at work to find out when I was coming home, so that she would
>know how much time she had to do her _thing [TaeIN]_!"
>All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
>come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>  -Sam'l Clemens
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

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

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