Raleigh, N.C. -- awesome or aw-dropping?

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 15 02:45:45 UTC 2014

On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 8:12 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> > Cf. HOG and DOG.
> >
> > JL
> Right.  I think we discussed these a while back.  For me (NYC, b. 1945), nothing rhymes with "dog" but "blawg".

On the pronunciation of "blog" vs. "blawg", see my Language Log post of 1/24/06:

For speakers with the cot-caught merger of low back vowels (such as
most residents of the western U.S.), the vowel in _blog_ merges with
the vowel in _law_, with the result that _blawg_ is homonymous with
_blog_. Speakers without the merger tend to use the _cot_ vowel for
most words ending in _-og_, with the exception of _dog_ and
occasionally other common words. _Blog_ is not (yet!) common enough to
be subject to this lexical diffusion and thus remains distinct from
_blawg_ for most speakers lacking the merger.

I don't think "blog" has become common enough in the intervening six
years to join the "dog" class for us non-mergerers.


Ben Zimmer

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

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