Heard on The Judges: BE "nary a"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 10 20:33:54 UTC 2008

Fiftyi-ish, black male speaker:

"I ain't offer her _nary a_ [n&@] dime!"

A poster to [adult swim]'s listserv for the animated cartoon, "The
Boondocks," wrote:

"so, im black nd i dnot hav _nan_ season['s DVD]"  (So, I'm black and
I don't have the DVD of even *one* season [of "The Boondocks"].)

It appears to me that this poster's _nan_ is an interesting effort by
an amateur at an eye-dialect spelling of [n&@] (= "nary one," in this
case) in which the vowels are always heavily nasalized.

(BTW, how do you represent the nasalization of vowels on this listserv
without changing the phonetics into gibberish?)


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.
-Mark Twain

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

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