The magistrate said "Merry", the defendant said "Mary"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 11 05:39:01 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 8:02 PM, David Wake <dwake at> wrote:
> many speakers in the East Coast and in the South do not have the
> complete merger.
In the Southern BE of Marshall, TX, It's

Mary [merI], merry [mErI], marry [m&rI]

But, in Saint BE, it's

Mary, merry [mEri], marry [m&ri]

St. Louis joke from at least as early as the '50's:

It was a Christmas party and everybody was feeling merry. Till Mary
got mad and left.

Of course, the joke is spoken, not written. Buh chawl gnome sane.

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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