"Word" words?

LanDi Liu strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 25 14:09:37 UTC 2008

Well, Heidi Harley wrote something about it here:

And I seem to remember someone else writing something more about that
later on LL, but I can't seem to find it.  Ben?


On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 9:50 PM, Guy Letourneau <guy1656 at opusnet.com> wrote:
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>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>  Poster:       Guy Letourneau <guy1656 at OPUSNET.COM>
>  Subject:      "Word" words?
>  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  Richard Lederer wrote of "word words," which are nouns spoken twice to
>  indicate that what is meant is the thing in its most ordinary instance.
>  For example "tea-tea" might be spoken to contrast from ice tea, or
>  exceptionally exotic preparations.
>  Some may remember an air freshener ad which named the product an "air
>  conditioner" in which an exasperated housewife explains "it's not an air
>  conditioner - air conditioner, it's an air CONDITIONER."
>  Anyways, my wife was wondering about writers who append an English
>  equivalent after a borrowed word. She said she had read of a woman who
>  'wore a kimono robe and an obi belt.' 'Robe' and 'belt' seemed redundant
>  to her.
>  Any comments? Is there a katana sword, an ushanka hat, or borscht soup?
>  - GLL
>  PS: And a joke for all:
>  Knock knock.
>  Who's there?
>  Objective case.
>  Objective case who?
>  No, objective case *whom*.
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China

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

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