Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed May 30 12:32:42 UTC 2007

Sorry, Charlie [*now* it's a proverb]. If they're anything like my students of fond memory, they'd never heard of "denuded" before.  They took a reasonable shot at the spelling. And the meaning....

Decades ago I was teaching sophomore Brit Lit. While grading a test paper, I found that a student had identified "fabliau" as  "The Bloody gear of the wife of Bath."


This seemed utterly insane, even to me.  Then - you'll laugh - I realized that while discussing "The Miller's Tale" (not "The Wife of Bath"), I had written these words on the board, even as I pronounced them, as central to the definition of "fabliau":  "a bawdy genre."

So anything is possible.  Some day I may tell you about "Man the Flying Saucers."


Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote: ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society
Poster:       Charles Doyle
Subject:      nutity

This is kind of funny: Evidently (so I was told; I didn't remember), in addressing a folklore class recently, I had described the concept of a "tale type" as an abstraction for which we imagine a plot "denuded of stylistic details." Well, on an essay test, fully a fourth of my students echoed some version of that phrasing--and every one of them spelled the word as "denuted"!  Were they thinking (misspelled) "neutered"? Was I mumbling my allophones?


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