Schwa hits the Big Time!

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 29 17:10:07 UTC 2008

On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM, sagehen <sagehen at> wrote:
>  Schwa can be found peeking out from the gloom of arcana into the full glare
> of general culture (it says here) with this week's edition of /The Nation./
> It appears in Puzzle No.3128.  Frank Lewis gives it a *very* broad hint in
> the  clues.  I don't pay much attention to the NYT-type  puzzle any more,
> but I have, over the years, & I don't think I've ever run across "schwa" in
> any other puzzle.

Here's a list of 15 appearances of "schwa" in the NYT puzzle since
1994, with clues:

The geographical clues are interesting. I like "Sound in the middle of
Italy" and "Either end of Alaska" -- "'Long Island' sound" not so much
(which sound?).

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list