[Ads-l] "color crayon" for a child's drawing implement

Charlie Law chaslaw at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 12 17:30:46 UTC 2016


[once again, I hope without the weird character codes]

My wife says "color crayon" for the child's drawing implement that I've
always called simply a "crayon". She grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana,
where she was born in the mid-1950s.

I know that sometimes these combinations have a logical basis, e.g., "ink pen"
and "stick pin" as used by people who don't distinguish between the vowels
in "pen" and "pin". So I figured, naively, that maybe in southern Louisiana
"crayon" at some point meant "pencil", as it does in French, making the
modifier "color" useful, especially in elementary school classrooms. I
don't have a bit of evidence for that, though, and, in fact, Shreveport is
pretty far removed culturally and linguistically from southern Louisiana.

Does anybody have any insight into the use of "color crayon"?

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 5:19 PM, Charles Law <chaslaw at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles Law <chaslaw at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      "color crayon" for a child's drawing implement
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> My wife says =E2=80=9Ccolor crayon=E2=80=9D for the child=E2=80=99s
> drawing implement that I=E2=
> =80=99ve always called simply a =E2=80=9Ccrayon=E2=80=9D. She grew up in
> Shreveport, Louisia=
> na, where she was born in the mid-1950s.
>
> I know that sometimes these combinations have a logical basis, e.g.,
> =E2=80=9Cink=
>  pen=E2=80=9D and =E2=80=9Cstick pin=E2=80=9D as used by people who
> don=E2=80=99t distinguish betwee=
> n the vowels in =E2=80=9Cpen=E2=80=9D and =E2=80=9Cpin=E2=80=9D. So I
> figured, naively, that maybe i=
> n southern Louisiana =E2=80=9Ccrayon=E2=80=9D at some point meant
> =E2=80=9Cpencil=E2=80=9D, as it do=
> es in French, making the modifier =E2=80=9Ccolor=E2=80=9D useful,
> especially in elementa=
> ry school classrooms. I don=E2=80=99t have a bit of evidence for that,
> though, and=
> , in fact, Shreveport is pretty far removed culturally and linguistically
> fr=
> om southern Louisiana.
>
> Does anybody have any insight into the use of =E2=80=9Ccolor
> crayon=E2=80=9D?
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
*"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, *
*it's too dark to read." -- Groucho Marx*

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