"It's _away_ better than fast food! It's Wendy's!" [NT}

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 22 01:34:33 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 3:16 PM, Laurence Horn<laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
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> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: "It's _away_ better than fast food! It's Wendy's!" [NT}
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 2:04 PM -0400 7/21/09, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>>On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 1:11 PM, Scot LaFaive<slafaive at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Â I've always heard it as "way better"...now I'll have to give it a better
>>> Â listen.
>>At least in this Wendy's commercial (all the way at the end), it
>>sounds pretty clearly like "way better":
> and glossed as "It's waaaay better than fast food. It's Wendy's."

Jesus Christ, Ben! (Remember the place in None Call It Sleep wherein
the Jewish kid marvels that the Christers have a god whose name is a
curse word?) There's no conclusion to be drawn from the example of a
*different* commercial! Especially one that's as long and as boring as
that one. But it was nice to see that someone had decided to give a
brotha a break. ;-)


You mean the case in which "food" sounds very close to [f-u-umlaut-d]?
That's been annoying the hell out of me for years. But what's really
broken my heart is the use of [&u], a pronunciation once much derided
amongst the colored as *the* outstanding example of the laughable
folk-speech of The Man, in place of [au], and the spread of the glo?al
stop, among younger black speakers. That is, younger than *I* am.

That these changes actually *pre-date* the election of a black
President is astonishing to me. What's their motivation?!


> I have to say that what always struck me about this commercial (or
> rather the coda, which appears with slightly different pronunciations
> in several different Wendy's commercials that have been airing for
> some time) is not the adverb but the fronting of the vowel in "food",
> very noticeable for example in this one:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwqJRY67H-k&feature=related
> LH
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