"Word" words?

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Apr 25 18:33:39 UTC 2008

When I asked for change for a five yesterday, the barista asked me if
I wanted change or change change. I told I I just wanted change (no
coins). BB

On Apr 25, 2008, at 6:50 AM, Guy Letourneau wrote:

> 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?

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

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