I Scream for Ice Cream

Thu Sep 2 17:30:29 UTC 1999

I notice that David Crystal, in one of his encyclopedias of language,
cites I scream / ice cream as an illustration of juncture.  I believe
that there was a popular song in the 1930s or 1940s called I Scream
for Ice Cream, though I have never heard it.  In any event, the
whimsy of playing with the juncture between these words is still
current, and has been with us since early last century.  To wit, and
have at you:

1825:   Met a strong-lunged fellow with a large tin bucket, shouting
with hideous gesticulations, "I scream!"  Found he had ice-cream for
        Bayrd Still, "New York City in 1825: A Newly Discovered
Description," New-York Historical Society Quarterly, 46:2 (April,
1962):151, quoting a newspaper of 1825.

1872;   [It would] cause the warm blood to freeze in thy veins even
like unto that of skimmed milk in an I scream freezer.
        Isaac S. Lyon, Recollections of an Old Cartman  [Old New York Street
Life]  Graham Hodges, ed., N. Y.: New York Bound, 1984, p. 6
[misnumbered as p. 9]

1997:   In "I Scream for Ice Cream," a nine and a half foot tall [statue]. . . .
        New York Times, June 2, 1997, Section B, p. 9, in a story headed "In Texas, a
 Celebration of the Ephemeral Spirit."  [I didn't note this at the
time, but I believe that the statue in question was made of ice; not,
I don't believe, of ice cream.]


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