"prom baby"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 8 00:43:21 UTC 2007

Pretty depressing.  On the subject of proms, though not babies
conceived thereat, last night's "Without a Trace" centered around
unpleasant but ultimately non-fatal events transpiring at a prom
concerning drug money, true love, corrupt parents, et al., and the
anarthous version ("at prom", "to prom", etc.) was used by the young
men and women throughout.  Good writing, I guess, though I would have
been totally stumped had it not been for our thread several months
ago.  The show is set in NYC, so presumably the prom in question was
somewhere in the city or the suburbs, though of course the show may
be written and filmed in LA for all I know.


At 5:15 PM -0700 5/7/07, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>ten years ago it was a baby born (and murdered) at a high school prom.
>but now "Worried Dad in Alpharetta, Ga." has written to Dear Abby
>with a report that begins:
>I first heard about an alarming trend while driving my teenage
>daughter to a lacrosse meet with her girlfriends. One girl in the
>car, "Carrie," said she hoped this year she could have a prom baby.
>The girls were discussing two former classmates from last year's
>lacrosse team who had been unable to begin college because they had
>both become mothers at 17.
>Both had deliberately planned to get pregnant on prom night - hence
>the term, "prom baby."
>... My daughter later told me that several of her other friends were
>considering trying to get pregnant near prom time so they, too,
>wouldn't have to deal with the pressures of going to college.
>the column is available from several papers on-line, but it's been
>edited down in some.  i read it in today's Palo Alto Daily News (on
>paper); the Houston Chronicle has the same version, which i take to
>be the full one:
>   http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/features/4779915.html
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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