Colin Powell

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri Sep 9 03:37:51 UTC 2011

On Sep 8, 2011, at 5:31 PM, Alice Faber wrote:

> Well, my father was screened and told he had to take the speech class
> because of his "l defect" (which I think, on the basis of what he said,
> was that he had dark l in environments where normative English had clear
> l).

many sighs.  my daughter was identified as having a speech defect because she had light l where dark l was normative.  at the same time, David Stampe's son was identified as having a speech defect for the opposite reason.  a phalanx of linguist parents prevented the kids from being subjected to speech therapy sessions -- but, as i recall, the marks against them went into their files.

even after all these years, i weep.

(both David and I taught many speech therapists-in training.  we feared that nothing we did in class had any effect on what they did in their lives.  tremendously dispiriting.)

arnold, hoping that we had some small effect on small number of students, but still it makes me wonder what good i've done with my life

The American Dialect Society -

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