Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Feb 25 22:58:13 UTC 2000

Isn't that funny?  I was going to describe an almost identical experience.
I grew up hearing and using "picky."  The first time I remember hearing
"picayune" is when I was in college (in Ohio, in the early 60s).  A fellow
student and I were commiserating about an exam we'd found difficult because
of what we considered excessively detailed questions, and he said (of the
exam or the professor, I can't remember), "It was (or he is) so picayune."
Without a second thought, I made exactly the same assumption as Bob did,
and "picayune" has been in my passive and active vocabulary ever since.

Peter Mc.

--On Fri, Feb 25, 2000 1:10 PM -0500 Bob Haas <highbob at MINDSPRING.COM>

> I've wondered about this, too, Beverly.  I was familiar with "picayune"
> from reading from about middle school on, but I didn't actually start
> using it until I heard Harry Morgan as Col. Potter on M*A*S*H use.  That
> was when I was in high school.  Until that time, I'd always used picky.
> When I heard the character on the tv show use it, I inferred that it must
> be the more formal form of picky.  Hmm.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at linfield.edu

More information about the Ads-l mailing list