[Ads-l] Media Inquiry (Mike Pence calling his wife "Mother")

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Fri Feb 3 16:15:36 EST 2017


Absolutely agreed, Larry - and also the difference between reference and direct address.  I have sometimes had the feeling that calling one's in-laws 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa' even in the absence of children in the vicinity (and I know I've heard it) is a way of resolving the what-do-I-call-my-inlaws problem.  I'm a proud Brooklynite, as you know, but have lived much of my adult life in the Midwest -


Margaret


----------------------------
MARGARET E WINTERS
Professor Emerita
French and Linguistics
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI  48202

mewinters at wayne.edu



________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 1:17 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Media Inquiry (Mike Pence calling his wife "Mother")

> On Feb 3, 2017, at 12:41 PM, Margaret Winters <mewinters at WAYNE.EDU> wrote:
>
> I have no insight into timing, but it reminds me of adult children who call their parents Grandma and Grandpa (or some variation of it) once they have children of their own.
>
>
> Margaret

But there’s also a distinction between *referring* to them as “Mom”, “Dad”, “Grandma”, and “Grandpa” when addressing the children who bear that relation to them and *addressing* them as “Mother”, “Father”, “Grandma”, “Grandpa”, especially when the children are not “ratified overhearers”, if that’s the correct term.  Context is important. When you’re in bed with your spouse and address them as “Dad” or “Mom”:  that, I believe, reflects a different practice.  My no doubt prejudiced impression is that if you do it (viz., use these as terms of address) in the kitchen, maybe you’re from the Midwest and probably you vote for people like Mike Pence.

LH
>
>
> ----------------------------
> MARGARET E WINTERS
> Professor Emerita
> French and Linguistics
> Wayne State University
> Detroit, MI  48202
>
> mewinters at wayne.edu
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at MST.EDU>
> Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 12:34 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Fw: Media Inquiry (Mike Pence calling his wife "Mother")
>
> Dear members of ads-l,
>
>
> I received the inquiry below (about men who call their wives "Mother").  Would anyone
>
> anyone be able to provide Ms. Garau information/insight/etc. about this?
>
>
> Gerald Cohen
>
> ________________________________
> From: Annie Garau <annie at pbh-network.com<mailto:annie at pbh-network.com>>
> Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 9:51 AM
> To: Cohen, Gerald Leonard
> Subject: Fwd: Media Inquiry
>
>
> Hi Professor Cohen,
>
> My name is Annie Garau and I'm an editor and writer for the site All That Is Interesting.
>
> I'm reaching out because a recent Rolling Stone article suggested that Vice President Mike Pence calls his wife "mother." I know this is a trivial topic in the context of an administration with such serious consequences. But, the Internet is intrigued nonetheless and I'm trying to find out the linguistic roots of calling your spouse "mother."
>
> Was this ever a common use of the word? Do people in some areas still do that? How does a nickname like that come to be used in a family? Does it get passed down through generations?
>
> I read about some of your work and thought you might have some insight into this matter. Any relevant information you might be able to share, or recommendations of other people to reach out to would be so helpful.
>
> Thank you very much for your time!
>
> All the Best,
>
> Annie
>
> 317-514-4379<tel:(317)%20514-4379>
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The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other ...


> American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
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www.americandialect.org
The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other ...


> www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>
American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
www.americandialect.org
The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other ...


> The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other ...
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
American Dialect Society<http://www.americandialect.org/>
www.americandialect.org
The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages, or dialects of other ...



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