Rhymes with "orange"

Mon May 1 17:10:20 UTC 2006

        Arnold is, of course, correct, although the porringer rhyme's
survival for centuries shows that there are at least some speakers for
whom that construction is acceptable.  As a demonstration that a rhyme
exists, however, I think that "burp'll" is conclusive (albeit
unnecessary, in light of the existence of "sherpal," as Larry pointed
out).  "Prince of Orange her" does indeed play fast and loose with the
nonexistent ground rules, since a rhyme is achieved only by adding a
word to the word to be rhymed.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Arnold M. Zwicky
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: Rhymes with "orange"

On May 1, 2006, at 8:36 AM, John Baker wrote:

>         For orange, at least, there's a classic nursery rhyme:
> What is the rhyme for porringer?
> What is the rhyme for porringer?
> The king he had a daughter fair
> And gave the Prince of Orange her.

> ....        In addition to orange and silver, purple is a third
> color that
> is traditionally considered unrhymable, but Louis Sachar came up with
> this clever rhyme in Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger:
> The baby won't stop crying.
> His face is turning purple.
> Will anything make him feel better?
> I bet a burp'll.

more instances of needing to be clear about the rules of the game.
the last lines of both verses are unacceptable for most modern english
speakers, though they have substructures that are fine in other versions
or in other contexts.

the first has a double-object construction (with the first object
referring to the recipient of the transfer, the second to the thing
transferred).  the construction is famous for being unacceptable when
the first object is nonpronominal and the second is a personal pronoun,
as in the verse.  "and gave the Prince of Orange his daughter" is fine,

the second has Auxiliary Reduction (here, "contraction" of "will") in a
Verb Phrase Ellipsis context, the most famous context that disallows AR
for most people.  "i bet a burp'll help", is fine, though.

this is entertaining play, but not quite fair.


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