A Pair of Fruits

Benjamin Lukoff blukoff at ALVORD.COM
Wed Feb 27 22:14:10 UTC 2008

On Wed, 27 Feb 2008, Laurence Horn wrote:

> At 1:26 PM -0500 2/27/08, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> >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."
> Or than a field as small as linguistics was 40 years ago having a
> (Herbert) Paper, a (Herbert) Penzl, a Postal, and a Stampe all active
> and (of course) writing.

Or a Lukoff (my father) and two Lakoffs...

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

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