Saying 'pope' (was standard US English Dialect)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Apr 16 19:46:14 UTC 2008

>On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 11:52 AM,  <RonButters at> wrote:
>>  In a message dated 4/16/08 11:40:30 AM, truespel at HOTMAIL.COM writes:
>>   > I'd hate to hear him say the word "pope".
>>   Just about anyone who was alive in the 1950s in the USA would have heard Ed
>>   Sullivan (and speakers of his dialect) say the word "pope." So
>>far as I know no
>>   one ever expressed any "hate" for what they heard.
>I don't think that was a general raising for Sullivan. "Really big
>show", pronounced (or heard) as "really big shoe", was part of his
>standard introduction,

--always pronounced with an interlacing, rotating, and ventral
display of his two hands in front of him.  And the stressed vowel of
"really" was lowered and shortened ("Rilly big shoe"). (Guess there
are no YouTube illustrations...)  Of course by this time we've seen
more take-offs of his intro by impersonators than original renditions.

>  and this particular phrase and pronunciation
>were as closely associated with him as the cigar, mustache, and
>eyebrows were with Groucho, but AFAIR it was specific to this word
>with him, and maybe even to this phrase.
>Mark Mandel
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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