"Fung guy"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jul 29 23:52:10 UTC 2009

At 6:37 PM -0400 7/29/09, Victor wrote:
>He's such a fun guy, he grows on you...\
>    VS-)

Yes, I remember that from lo these many decades ago, and remember
being annoyed--not at the phonological convergence, which I could
live with, but at the morphological one, which (with my three years
of high school Latin) I couldn't.  I know, it's a pun, but there are


>Wilson Gray wrote:
>>When I was an underling at the (former?) Botany Research Laboratory at
>>Washington University in Saint Louis in 1955, it was considered a gas
>>when the Americans tricked a Chinese visiting scholar from Taiwan into
>>thinking that "fungi" [f^ndSai], the plural of "fungus," was
>>pronounced [f^Ngai]. However, it now seems to be the case that *native
>>speakers* of American English are  fully persuaded that [f^NgaI],
>>which I first heard as a joke, really *is* the correct pronunciation
>>of "fungi."
>>Please note that I am *not* claiming that the new pronunciation
>>*originated* at Wash U. in 1955. I am merely noting an oddity of
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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