[Ads-l] Awe-dropping revisited?

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 18 11:13:04 EDT 2017

I first read the thread subject as referring to North Germanic
jod-dropping.  Well, it was early.

Gut nyt aor!  (ao as typographic sub for a with a superscript circle)


On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 10:18 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> As y’all will recall, we’ve discussed the inevitability and/or (for at
> least one of our subscribers) the tragedy of speakers coming to conflate
> open-o with /a/, whence “awe-dropping”.  As an old east-coaster, I keep my
> own “cot"s distinct from my “caught”s, but I recognize that most other U.S.
> English speakers don’t.
> In any case, I was listening to an album on one of Delta’s audio channels
> on which a woman performs a Broadway show tunes medley.  I didn’t record
> who the singer was, but one of her selections was the Gershwins’ “’S
> Wonderful” from “Funny Face”. The intro, I now see on the web, was not Ira
> Gershwin’s but does appear in the same form in Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition,
> which you can here her perform here:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDxrKlQPZ2M
> The transcription, at http://www.metrolyrics.com/s-wonderful-lyrics-ella-
> fitzgerald.html, reads as follows (complete with the indicated truncaysh'
> of each line in the quatrain).  It’s the couplet that’s crucial, though.
> ================
> Don't mind telling you, in my humble fash
> That you thrill me through, with a tender pash
> When you said you care 'magine my emoshe
> I swore then and there, permanent devoshe
> You made all other men seem blah
> Just you alone filled me with ah
> ================
> In both Ella’s version and the one I heard on the plane, the couplet
> rhymes “blah” not with “ah” (which makes no sense at all—filled me with
> “ah”? Really?) but with “awe”.  Pronounced, however, /a:/ to rhyme with
> /bla:/.  (More like script /a/, technically.).  So, awe-dropping in action?
> As a true New Yawka, I assume Ira Gershwin would not have rhymed “blah”
> with “awe”, but then neither appears in *his* intro verse, as you can see at
> https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=s+wonderful+ira+gershwin+lyrics&*
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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