Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Sep 27 03:44:28 UTC 2007

Another classic pedagogical moment.  I was teaching from Robert Fitzgerald's great translation of the Iliad. Fitzgerald tries to preserve some extra Greekness by transliterating the Greek names into English spelling rather than perpetuate the Latinized versions that are traditional in English.  Thus, e.g., Fitzgerald corrects "Patroclus" to "Patroklos."

  The laff is on itsway. "Achilles" becomes, in Fitzgerald's Iliad, "Akhilleus."

  Most of you are probably way ahead of me, but when I pronounced this as
  / @ 'kIl yus /, somebody snickered, "Ah kill yo' ass!"

  So Beavis & Butthead is based on fact!  (Even though this happened later.)


  Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: Finally!

My ass thanks your ass, arnold! My ass found the article and read,
well, skimmed, its ass. My ass is not fully in agreement with all of
the examples in its ass, but, as its authors' asses note, it was not
their asses' intention to do a study of BE's ass. As for Spears's ass,
my ass didn't find anything of interest in what his ass had to say.
Indeed, its ass struck my ass as bullshit. But my ass's opinion may be
affected by the fact that my ass doesn't go for his ass for my ass's
own reasons.

Well, to paraphrase Clerow Wilson "Flip Wilson" Honey's ass, my ass
better had discover its ass on out of here and get its ass on down the
road a piece.


On 9/26/07, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
> Subject: Re: Finally!
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Sep 26, 2007, at 2:24 PM, Wilson Gray wrote, to dInIs:
> > How does the following, heard on the tube, strike you:
> >
> > "Step your ass on into this house!"
> >
> > I have a friend who's used to hearing this kind of construction, but
> > he doesn't really understand it, He often greets me by saying, "How's
> > your ass?" For a long time, I couldn't understand his interest in the
> > state of my arse. Then it occurred to me that he had assumed that
> > "your ass" in constructions such as that above was could simply be
> > replaced by "you."
> ah, there's now a pulished account of "X's ass" for reference to
> persons and things:
> Beavers, John & Andrew Koontz-Garboden. 2006. A universal pronoun
> in English?. Linguistic Inquiry 37.3.503-513. Download final
> published version (via Ingenta):
> arnold
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Sam'l Clemens

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