Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Wed Sep 19 18:44:51 UTC 2007

On Sep 17, 2007, at 5:36 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> That's funny! Over the course of my life, soufmo(r) [saufmo(r)] has
> been the usual BE pronunciation of "sophomore." The obvious
> (hyper)correction is "southmore." But I've never heard it. It's always
> been either the BE pronunciation or the standard pronunciation.

well, a number of the hits for "southmore" are from black speakers --
so many that, at first, i thought it was a specifically black thing
(an idea that turned out to be incorrect).

this might be a case of what i'm currently thinking of as "demi-
eggcorns": reshapings in which some opaque material is replaced by a
phonologically similar existing morpheme, but without noticeable
contribution to the semantics.  the idea is that there are two drives
here: one to find familiar elements as much as possible, and one to
find meaning as much as possible.  classic eggcorns show both
effects, demi-eggcorns only the first.

but for all i know, there are people out there who have invented some
rationale for the "south" in "southmore".  remember "ol(d) factory".


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