postvocalic /l/

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Wed Mar 10 03:57:15 UTC 2010

> Robin wrote,
> "... think about how long is a piece of string."
> Clearly, he meant to write, "... think about how long a piece of string
> is."
> As a Dutch friend once asked me, "Don't you know your own language?!"
> -Wilson

Actually, I didn't.  Mean to write what Wilson suggested I did, that is.   I
was speaking in my own particular idiolect of urban (Glasgow) colloquial.
(Implied quotation marks and lost query marker.)

That said, I see I broke the Third Rule they taught us in my first
linguistics lecture at Glasgow:

1.  Forget every single thing you were ever taught about grammar in
2.  No native speaker of a language ever makes a mistake.

            Then there was three:

3.  Be careful which register you employ, and don't split infinitives in
your essays.

At that, three hundred adolescent heads nodded as one: "Yeah, right -- you
*don't start humming the Sash in a Catholic pub."

So my bad, sir.  <g>


The American Dialect Society -

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