"Ballroom brawl"

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Dec 18 13:12:23 UTC 2006

In postvocallic "r-less" (and "l-less") dialects, as well as in those dialects with "cot"/"caught" homophony, the "barroom"/"ballroom" distinction would diminish.  Such a diminution could facilitate (and filicitate) the deliberately punning uses of the phrase "ballroom brawl" in many of Google's 900 hits?


---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 05:54:20 -0600
>From: Jim Parish <jparish at SIUE.EDU>
>Subject: "Ballroom brawl"
>>From this morning's San Diego Union-Tribune:
>'Said rookie tackle Marcus McNeill: “We would be the first finesse team with an All-Pro running back. It's a double slap to the offensive line. We already don't get a lot of the credit. You're asking for a ballroom brawl. That's what you saw out there.”'
>(For what it's worth, the first time I saw "barroom brawl" - in a James Thurber story - I interpreted "barroom" as a sound effect.)
>Jim Parish

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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