"foiemageddon", WOTY for the lily-livered set

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Jun 7 19:27:19 UTC 2012

At 6/7/2012 02:55 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>On Jun 7, 2012, at 12:41 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > I'll vote for it!  But how do these non-rhotic
> > Californians pronounce "foie" to make it a
> > minimal pair with "Ar" (pronounced I presume
> > "ah")?  "Fwa" (as I pronounce "foie") or "fa" (or both?) vs. "ah"?
> >
> > For me, "fwa" is not "fa".  Are there minimal pairs for these two?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Joel
>Good point, Joel.  I guess I must have been
>thinking of /fw/ as a phoneme, contrasting
>minimally with zero.  Anyway, the contrast is
>*more* minimal for those (possibly non-existent)
>Californians who happen to be non-rhotic (or
>can't pronounce their /r/s because of the foie
>gras stuck on the roof of their mouth).

Thanks, Larry.  But surely there must still exist
some upper-crust foie-gras-eating (a good
combination, crust and liver) Californians who
emigrated from Boston, where they went to and
said "Hahvahd".  (San Francisco was once the West
Coast Cambridge.  Or is it still?)

And can anyone provide minimal pairs for "fwa"
and "fa"?  (Even French would suffice.)

P.S.  Is chopped liver off the menu
too?  Wikipedia's first sentence on the subject
is "Chopped liver is a spread popular in Jewish
cousine"  Are California's Jews packing up and
moving out?  Would Woody Allen say instead, "How
close is it to chopped liver?"?


> >
> > At 6/6/2012 08:49 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> >> The Times on the upcoming "crise de foie":
> >>
> >>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/dining/california-chefs-mount-a-repeal-of-foie-gras-ban-set-for-july-1.html
> >>
> >> "The countdown to foie-mageddon has begun. With
> >> less than a month until California’s
> >> first-in-the nation ban on foie gras takes
> >> effect, fans of the fattened duck and goose
> >> liver are buying out stocks of the delicacy,
> >> searching for legal loopholes and sating
> >> themselves at a series of foie-heavy goodbyes. [
> >>
> >>
> >> Other references to foiemageddon, with or
> >> without hyphen, can be found, e.g. in blogs
> >> associated with the online version of New York
> >> magazine, but they all seem fairly recent.  The
> >> label works best for non-rhotic speakers for
> >> whom "Armageddon" and "foiemageddon" are minimal pairs.
> >>
> >> LH

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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