I say "Lusitan-i-ay"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 14 15:42:12 UTC 2006

But nobody ever accused Matthew Arnold (the "Lusitani-ay" guy of the original post) of being
a nonstandard or eccentric rhymer.

  Also, Larry, shouldn't that be "Buffalo-oh-oh"?  Anyway that's how I heard it.

  Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: I say "Lusitan-i-ay"

>Unless "lackaday" and "Canada" were both pronounced with final /i/
>or /I/, like "holiday" in some dialects and "Sunday" (etc.) in most?

I think the Sunday rhyme--with [ey] (or, for Tom Z's benefit, "long
a")--is far more likely; there are all those other songs with such
pronunciations as "Lusitan-i-ay", "Californ-Eye-Ay", and even "Til we
get to Buffalo-Eye-Ay", so "Cana-DAY" seems plausible enough as a
kind of disingenuous musical orthographic pronunciation if not an
actual one.


>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 14:58:46 -0800
>>From: Jonathan Lighter
>>Subject: Re: I say "Lusitan-i-ay"
>>Here's a nearly parallel case from the mid 18th C.
>> Lucy Terry Prince (1730-1821) is known as "America's first black
>>poet"; she was of the generation just preceding the better known
>>Phyllis Wheatley (1753-84). Her only known poem, written when she
>>was fifteen or sixteen (and praised by a recent critic for its
>>"radical use of direct speech") memorializes the victims of an
>>Indian raid near Deerfield, Mass., in 1746. It comprises four
>>eight-line rhyming stanzas. The final stanza is as follows:
>> And had not her petticoats stopped her,
>> The awful creatures had not catched her,
>> Nor tommy hawked her on the head,
>> And left her on the ground for dead.
>> Young Samuel Allen, Oh lackaday!
>> Was taken and carried to Canada.
>> Though "stopped / catched" (most likely /kaCt/) prevents the
>>argument from being quite airtight, surely /e/ is the pronunciation
>> JL
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