antedating "hobo" 1885

Randy Alexander strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 26 03:12:07 UTC 2009

At 10:11 AM -0400 5/25/09, Mark Mandel wrote:
> >>"color" and "honor" do not follow the pattern <CoCo>.

No, but they do follow (C)oCo(C). Â :)

At 3:08 PM -0400 5/25/09, Laurence Horn wrote:
> P.S. Â The last part I now see is unclear. Â I meant that the word
> _homo_ 'human' (as in _homo sapiens_) is *reported by the OED* to be
> pronounced in both ways. Â I've only ever heard it pronounced /homo/
> in the U.S.

When I was in 4th grade at a Catholic school in Cincinnati, I heard
Sister Mary say "homicide" as /'houm at said/. Â I raised my hand and said
"it's /'ham at said/." Â Thunder clapped and echoed slowly around the
darkening classroom. Â She told me to stand up, put her hand on my
shoulder, and, digging her fingernail into my collarbone, marched me
around to the back of the room to the dictionary, where she told me to
find that word. Â Then, in feigned triumph, showed me that her
pronunciation was there, in black and white. Â I quelled my desire to
tell her, that since it's listed as the second pronunciation, it is
not the most common one.

That day I learned a little bit about dialect variation and the way
people tend to like to think that their own way of saying things is
the right way.  But I've still never heard anyone else pronounce that
word that way, and while not being too common in daily life, it's
certainly very common in cop shows and movies.

Randy Alexander
Jilin City, China
My Manchu studies blog:

The American Dialect Society -

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