victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 11 17:19:13 UTC 2011

Wilson, you're absolutely right. My (fairly minor) point was this was not a
spelling found among nearly two dozen alternates in the OED. Nor did AZ or
MQ mention it in their respective posts (AZ Blog and WWWords). Nothing more.
I was not commenting on the regularity or the likelihood of this spelling,
although I had suspicions exactly along the lines of your explanation.


On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 1:31 AM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at>
> wrote:
> > Note that Google DOES suggest "Foofaraw" as the "proper" alternative.
> > Still, no one else mentions this particular spelling...
> Victor, haven't you mentioned on other occasions that you're not a
> native-speaker, sensu stricto, of AmE? If this sort-of memory be
> correct, then there is, for me, a clear explanation.
> That _-aw_ and _-all_ are clear, in-your-face alternates in words that
> are learned by ear and almost never by sight may not be something that
> you simply _know_, without having to check any source.
> /l/ acts similarly after /u o/.
> We've long since discussed the fact that whites are sometimes simply
> unable to hear in the speech of blacks any trace of [l] in words like
> _cool  coal_ in certain environments, whereas we colored usually
> "hear" whites saying [kuw at l  kow at l] in certain environments.
> My WAG is that a black speaker damps the vibration of his vocal folds
> as soon as he feels the tongue-tip touch the roof of the mouth. That's
> what *I* do, anyhow. OTOH, a white speaker allows the vibrations to
> continue after the contact is made.
> --
> -Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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