rocks and stones

James Stalker stalker at MSU.EDU
Tue Nov 18 21:37:52 UTC 2003

Arthur Norman in "A Southwest Texas dialect study," notes that stone
fence is Northern.  DARE, according to Carver, puts rock fence is the
Midland area.  Perhaps Dolly was doing her native dialect when she did
rocks and has shifted to stones to accommodate the proverb, or because
somebody told her rocks is wrong.

Jim Stalker

Fraser Sutherland wrote:

> I suspect the answer is more literary than linguistic.  Dolly's
> original line rephrased the old proverb ("People who live in glass
> houses shouldn't throw stones") and she further tinkered with it by
> replacing "stones" with the synonym "rocks".  She likely revised the
> line to make it more closely match the proverb.
> "If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones/don’t shatter my
> image ‘til you look at your own/look at your reflection in your house
> of glass/stay out of my closet if your own’s full of trash..."
> Fraser Sutherland
> At 09:39 AM 18/11/03 -0500, Orin Hargraves wrote:
>> Here’s something that’s been bugging me: Dolly Parton released a
>> song in
>> 1980, “Shattered Image,” with a recurring line, “shatter my image
>> with the
>> rocks you throw.” It is recorded in a new version on her relatively
>> recent
>> (2002) album  “Halos and Horns,” but the word “rocks” is
>> systematically
>> changed to “stones” throughout. What’s that about? “Rocks” is
>> certainly the
>> word I would have chosen in the context, but somewhere along the
>> line I got
>> a notion that “stones” would be the choice for an E coast or urban
>> speaker.
>> She has always touted rather than tried to disguise her bumpkin
>> origins, so
>> I wonder what the vocab makeover was about. Any ideas or inside
>> info?
>> Orin Hargraves
>> (at one time neither E coast nor urban)

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