Noah Webster at 250

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Oct 22 13:15:48 UTC 2008

At 10/22/2008 12:00 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
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>Dennis Baron writes:
>"...plow, not plough ..."
>Back in the 'Forties, there was a soap-operatic, cartoon-serial
>entitled _The Gumps_. One day, the Gumps were expecting as dinner
>guest an English gentleman named "Plough." Confusion reigned as to how
>this name might be pronounced, so that introductions would not pose an
>embarrassing problem. Various solutions were proposed. I went with
>"Pluff," myself. It seemed obvious.
>When Mr. Plough arrived and was forced to explain to his American
>hosts that his name was pronounced "Plow," exactly as spelled,
>millions of Americans, including your humble correspondent, were taken
>completely by surprise. ...

Earlier, there is the Sherlock Holmes tale where the crucial clue is
a plow -- in a newspaper advertisement purporting to come from a
constructor of agricultural equipment in Aston.  {"The Adventure of
the Three Garridebs")


The American Dialect Society -

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