Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Thu Mar 7 19:03:47 UTC 2013

On 3/7/13 12:33 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:

I remember the voice students at UConn, when I worked in the music
library, using "phonetically" this way when referring to learning to
sing a libretto in a language that they didn't know. Now, they would use
the phrase "learn <it> phonetically," so I could easily see someone
rephrasing it as "speak <it> phonetically" to indicate a change in
direction, if you will.

And don't actors use this phrase "learn/speak phonetically" as well,
when they're reciting foreign language lines? It's indicating just a
rote memorization and production of sound without necessarily
corresponding comprehension of what they're saying.

Like those altar boys and Latin. . .

---Amy West
> Date:    Wed, 6 Mar 2013 02:42:46 -0500
> From:    Wilson Gray<hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: "phonetically"
> On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM, Jonathan Lighter<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> >speaks phonetically
> Interestingly, the Late-Great Redd Foxx, on his album, You Got to Wash
> Your Ass, says of himself that, back in his days as an altar-boy back
> at St. Benedict the Moor parish in Saint Louis, he "spoke Latin
> _phonetically_."
> Your guess is as good as mine as to what, exactly, he meant by that.
> We altar-boys weren't taught Latin and didn't speak Latin, sensu
> stricto. We merely recited fixed formulae -
> Priest: Introibo ad altare Dei
> Altar-boy: Ad Deum, qui laetificat juventutem meam
> - that we already knew - there were "ponies," called "altar cards,"
> supplied, just in case - from years of reading along with the
> "celebrant," as we say in Catholic, in our missals, before we achieved
> stardom.
> --
> -Wilson

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

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