Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Feb 4 16:06:08 UTC 2008

At 10:50 AM -0500 2/4/08, Amy West wrote:
>Oh, dear G-d almighty, I cannot believe that this old myth/falsehood
>has reappeared here.
>Mark, pick my fainting medievalist self up off the floor. I'm
>assuming that James Landau simply contributed this cite and is not
>the author of the text.

Indeed; a click on the link indicates that Jim was asking about the
reliability of this claim, not promulgating it (whence his quotes),
and a search on "cats and dogs" or "thatch" will probably pull up the
various observations following his query that this is in fact a
classic etymythology, as you say.


>That collection of etymythologies, which
>includes this one, that have made the e-mail circuit since the early
>90s is the bane of my existence. I nearly burst a gasket when one of
>the managers at the museum mindlessly started rattling some of them
>off, including this one...
>---Amy West
>>Date:    Sun, 3 Feb 2008 20:15:29 -0800
>>From:    Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
>>Subject: rooves
>>Cadillac ran a commercial today, mentioning "sunrooves".
>>The only mention I find in the ADS archives on "rooves" is
>>"The phrase comes from the days when most roofs were thatch.  Now thatch
>>contains seeds, which means it attracts mice and rats who eat the
>>seeds.  To get the rhodents out of their rooves, people would turn their
>>cats and dogs loose on the roof.  When it rained, the felines and
>>canines were washed off the roof, hence the expression." - James A. Landau
>>(Note that this citation also includes the spelling "rhodents".)
>>Benjamin Barrett
>>a cyberbreath for language life
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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