lawyer/liar confluence

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Wed Apr 16 13:54:07 UTC 2008

"Lawyer is to be pronounced _Lyer_ as is common now in some counties"--John Harland,_A Glossary of Words Used in Swaledale [etc.]_ (English Dialect Society, vol. 4 [1870]: 75).

The confluence occured with some frequency in satiric epigrams and dramatic repartee of the 17th century.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 06:22:44 -0700
>From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
>Several female members of the polygamous Texas sect appeared on Fox & Friends earlier today. One spoke of being unable to see a "lawyer," but the stressed vowel was so unrounded that the word was virtually identical to a Texas pronunciation of "liar." At first, that's what I thought she said.
>  The woman's phonology was otherwise unremarkable,
>  I wouldn't go so far as to call this homophony "phonological justice," but it comes close.
>  JL

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