Exposure to language

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Mon Dec 16 21:48:30 UTC 2002

At 03:15 PM 12/16/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>On Thu, 12 Dec 2002, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>#Vance Randolph: a Missouri (Ozarks) story:
>#<<One time there was a young farmer had some folks come over to his place
>#for supper.
>#... the baby come a-crawling out on the floor, and you could see where he
>#has shit all over himself. ... the man spoke right up. "Marthy," says he,
>#"fetch the dishrag, and wipe that young-un's ass. If there's one thing I
>#can't stand, it's nastiness!"
>#... They didn't go there for supper no more ....>>
>I believe I recall seeing that in the collection _Pissing In the Snow_,
>a wonderful book of mountain tales, jokes, and anecdotes that were
>considered unprintable at the time they were collected.
>-- Mark A. Mandel

And that's partially why I don't buy  Doug Wilson's speculation that my
parents (and others in my speech community) were cleverly reversing 'shit'
to 'tish' and then voicing to 'dish'--they were smart but not that
clever!  Nor can I believe Randolph's farmer would have used a cloth for
washing dishes on his baby's rear end; I suspect his community used 'dish'
in the same way mine did, and that the visitors were horrified because they
didn't share that dual usage!

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