"up and arms"

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Mar 28 08:08:03 UTC 2012

On Mar 27, 2012, at 10:53 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 1:39 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> I checked the eggcorn database just to make sure.
> But see similar in/and confusions here:
> http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/category/english/and-%C2%AB%C2%BB-inen/
>> It wasn't there, but I
>> was surprised to learn we pronounce "milk" as [mɽlk]  in Washington State
>> (http://eggcorns.lascribe.net/index.php?s=up+and+arms&submit=Search).
>> I'm going to have to listen to my fellow Washingtonians carefully. For
>> now, I'm very much a doubter.
> That's Chris Waigl quoting a Language Log post from me about ilk/elk.
> If you follow the link trail, you'll find my source of that
> information:
> http://jpv206.wordpress.com/2007/06/29/i-heard-you/
> --bgz

Thanks for the link. Saying them at a normal clip, the milk and melk sound very, very similar, so my doubts are eroding very, very quickly.

The claim that the vowels are in free variation is surely not true, though, at least not here in Seattle. As it says on the blog, "because they all insist they don’t pronounce it [mElk]..." Even if there is a blurring (or complete obfuscation) in rapid speech, they (and we) maintain the difference.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list