A Pair of Fruits

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Wed Feb 27 18:26:55 UTC 2008

This thread seems to me to be based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the
role of chance in everyday life. I went to 3rd grade with someone named
"Turnipseed"; what are the "odds" that a "Butters" and a "Turnipseed" would be in
the same neighborhood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1947 (and be the same age)? Duke
hired two guys in the English Department in 1966 named "Clum" and
"Clubbe"--what are the "odds" that Duke Enlgish in the same year would have acquired two
assistant professors whose last names were separated by only one distinctive
feature? Low, I suppose, but not particularlty interesting.

Coincidence abounds--and is generally so unremarkable as not to bear
mentioning. Having two fruits on the same reporting staff is unlikely, but not much
more surprising than, say, having a "Badger," a "Wolf," and a "Fox."

In a message dated 2/27/08 12:51:33 PM, thnidu at GMAIL.COM writes:

> Ask on "ANS-L: American Name Society" <ANS-L at listserv.binghamton.edu>.
> m a m
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:06 AM, Doug Harris <cats22 at frontiernet.net>
> wrote:
> > I just happened to notice, on a story from Washington
> > in today's NY Times ("Bush Cool to States' Call for
> > Public Works Projects," on the lede US page) that that
> > newspaper has another fruity reporter in the capital.
> > The first, R.W. Apple, is, alas, no longer with us.
> > Robert Pear may have been there (in DC, and at the
> > Times) for a goodly while, but I just noticed the
> > biologic similarity in the names. What are the odds
> > of two similarly-based reporters being named after
> > (or the same as), say, vegetables?
> > dh
> >
> >
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on AOL Living.


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

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