[Ads-l] Where are the PC police?

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Sat Sep 17 21:31:09 EDT 2016


I have a feeling it was actually that very thread that started me off thinking
about the business.  Halliwell-Philips in 1849 isn't the earliest -- there's an
earlier Scots version, and may be others -- but most of the
this-side-of-the-Atlantic discussion in the rest of the nineteenth century
refers back to him.

The American version, oddly enough, emerges in exactly the same year, so they're
almost certainly independent versions of a common folk original somewhere that
predates them both, despite the substantial similarity between H-P and America.
I could dig out the Arne-Thomson number of the motif if anyone's interested.

But the two versions seem to develop completely independently.

I'll dive back into my notes and see what I found as the earliest, Garson.  If
you have an earlier, or indeed anything before 1849, I'd be interested.

<<  The earliest version recorded in the British Isles was in Scots, by Robert
Chambers. Chambers (1802-1871), a noted Scottish author and printer, published
his first collection of Scottish folk material in 1826, as _Popular Rhymes of
Scotland_, “chiefly collected from oral sources.” It was in the second edition
of this, first published in 1842, that the story of the Sky Falling first
appeared. In this version, the chicken is absent, and the narrative begins with
a pea falling on the head of Henny-Penny:

“A hen picking at a pease-stack, a pea fell on her head, and she thought the
lifts were faun. And she thought she would go and tell the king about it. And
she gaed, and gaed, and gaed ...”   >>

I haven't rechecked that, simply carved it straight out of my notes, and it may
anyway have been lifted from the 2010 ADS-l thread, though I like to think I'd
have flagged it if so.

But it was all so long ago.

I'll check out the thread you cited, Garson.  Thanks.

Robin

> 
>     On 18 September 2016 at 02:07 ADSGarson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> 
>     There was a discussion thread about Chicken Little and Chicken Licken
>     back in 2010. I located some evidence before the important 1849
>     citation mentioned by Robin. There seems to be some uncertainty about
>     the original character names:
> 
>     http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2010-December/105724.html
> 
>     Perhaps more material is available now.
>     Garson
> 
> 
>     On Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 8:41 PM, Robin Hamilton
>     <robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:
>     > I should have said, the whole point of my last post, that even in the
>     > UK, even
>     > in Scotland, the badge Jon refers to read "Chicken Little [sic] Was
>     > Right".
>     >
>     > Even when we knew better.
>     >
>     > Very much a sixties sort of scene, in origin at least.
>     >
>     > R.
>     >
>     >>
>     >> On 18 September 2016 at 01:29 Robin Hamilton
>     >> <robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM> wrote:
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> It's odd ... Not so much that "Chicken Licken Was Right" doesn't sound
>     >> right,
>     >> but *why* it doesn't sound right.
>     >>
>     >> Chicken Licken is embedded in the rhyme-cascade of Chicken Licken,
>     >> Henny
>     >> Penny,
>     >> Ducky Lucky, Goosy Loosey ... Foxy Loxy, whereas Chicken Little [sic]
>     >> is
>     >> detachable.
>     >>
>     >> As to why Chicken Licken in England whereas Chicken Little in America.
>     >> *That* I
>     >> dunno. The when but not the why.
>     >>
>     >> Way it goes.
>     >>
>     >> Robin
>     >>
>     >> >
>     >> > On 18 September 2016 at 00:34 Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU> wrote:
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> > The Turtles released a song by that title in 1967. (It's not one of
>     >> > their better songs....)
>     >> >
>     >> > Jim Parish
>     >> >
>     >> > On 9/17/2016 6:32 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>     >> > > In the year 1968 I purchased, in NYC, a novelty button that read,
>     >> > > "CHICKEN
>     >> > > LITTLE WAS RIGHT."
>     >> > >
>     >> > > It has served me well ever since.
>     >> > >
>     >> > > On Sat, Sep 17, 2016 at 7:00 PM, Robin Hamilton <
>     >> > > robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:
>     >> > >
>     >> > >> It's worse than that, even, Wilson, since there's a degree of
>     >> > >> gender-bending
>     >> > >> involved in making the protagonist male:
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >> I quote myself from some long-ago notes:
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >> << The second version of the narrative to be written down [the
>     >> > >> earliest
>     >> > >> version is Scots, and begins with a hen], with the initial figure
>     >> > >> now
>     >> > >> a
>     >> > >> younger
>     >> > >> barnyard fowl named Chicken Licken, was that of James Orchard
>     >> > >> Halliwell-Philips
>     >> > >> (as he was finally known by the end of his life), Shakespearean
>     >> > >> scholar,
>     >> > >> and
>     >> > >> anthologist of nursery rhymes and folk tales. Halliwell-Philips
>     >> > >> introduces
>     >> > >> Chicken Licken in his 1849 anthology. It is here for the first
>     >> > >> time
>     >> > >> that
>     >> > >> the
>     >> > >> protagonist is named Chicken Licken, while it is now an acorn [not
>     >> > >> a
>     >> > >> pea,
>     >> > >> as in
>     >> > >> the earlier Scottish version] which falls on the creature’s head:
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >> “As Chicken-Licken went one day to the wood, an acorn fell upon
>     >> > >> her
>     >> > >> poor
>     >> > >> bald
>     >> > >> pate, and she thought the sky had fallen. So she said she would go
>     >> > >> and
>     >> > >> tell the
>     >> > >> king that the sky had fallen …”
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >> This was the version which was to dominate the British strand of
>     >> > >> the
>     >> > >> tale. >>
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >> Or so I once seem to have averred.
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >> As to why she's called Chicken Little in America ... well,
>     >> > >> children,
>     >> > >> that's
>     >> > >> another story.
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >> Robin Hamilton
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >>> On 17 September 2016 at 20:44 Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>     >> > >>> wrote:
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >>> Chicken Little (2005) - IMDb
>     >> > >>> www.imdb.com/title/tt0371606/
>     >> > >>> IMDb
>     >> > >>> Rating: 5.8/10 - ‎64,469 votes
>     >> > >>> Animation · After ruining _his_ reputation with the town, a
>     >> > >> courageous
>     >> > >>> _chicken_ must come to the rescue of _his_ fellow citizens when
>     >> > >> aliens
>     >> > >>> start an invasion.
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >>> When did chickens - not to mention honeybees, wasps, hornets,
>     >> > >>> cows,
>     >> > >> etc. -
>     >> > >>> become *male*? No less a light than Seth MacFarlane has even
>     >> > >> portrayed
>     >> > >>> bulls as having udders.
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >>> Is it becoming the case that, in English, _male_ v. _female_ is
>     >> > >> relevant
>     >> > >>> only WRT personkind?
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >>> --
>     >> > >>> -Wilson
>     >> > >>> -----
>     >> > >>> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange
>     >> > >>> complaint
>     >> > >> to
>     >> > >>> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>     >> > >>> -Mark Twain
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>     >> > >>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>     >> > >>>
>     >> > >> ------------------------------------------------------------
>     >> > >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>     >> > >>
>     >> > >
>     >> > >
>     >> >
>     >> > ------------------------------------------------------------
>     >> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>     >> >
>     >>
>     >> ------------------------------------------------------------
>     >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>     >>
>     >
>     > ------------------------------------------------------------
>     > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> 
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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