Submariner (was "thousand-yard stare")

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 3 03:36:31 UTC 2010

On Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 8:35 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at> wrote:
> the
> distinctive spelling made the pronunciation explicit: "the Sub-Mariner"

No, it didn't. _Sub-Mariner_ doesn't exclude "Sub-MaREEner" as a
pronunciation, especially given the far more widespread "marine" in a
whole host of environments.

There is "The Rime of The Ancient Mariner." But I'd bet that the
number of people familiar with this now approaches zero. Sigh! Back in
the '60's, this poem was still so well known that there was a story in
the sports section(!) that noted that a certain baseball infielder was
nicknamed The Ancient Mariner because "he stoppeth one of three." Back
in the day, even slipping "a person from Porlock" past the hoi polloi
could be a problem. Why, people once got the joke behind the note on a
bulletin board that announced a "physics" class in Mad Magazine's


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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