porno as a count noun

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Nov 15 04:37:40 UTC 2008

At 11:07 PM -0500 11/14/08, Baker, John wrote:
>The Shel Silverstein song is "Polly in a Porny."

Yes, but the intended reference was no doubt to the somewhat more
obscure "Pollo in a Porno", an early instance of chicken porn.

--LH, wondering about that "rhinoceri".  I suppose "rhinoceroi"
sounds too Yiddish, and "rhinos" too cute to fornicate...

>The earliest I see of "porno" as a count noun is from 1984, quoting
>an oral statement from 1980:  "They told her that she was going to
>make a "video porno" for them, which they intended to sell."  State
>v. Chandler, 19 Ohio App.3d 109, 483 N.E.2d 192 (1984).
>It's older as a non-count noun.  From Paul Zindel, And Miss Reardon
>Drinks a Little (produced 1967, published 1971):  "During his first
>year in junior high he's taken dope, sold porno, and drew pictures
>of rhinoceri fornicating on the cover of his world geography text
>I think that it's older as a modifier, but I don't have any verified dates.
>John Baker
>From: American Dialect Society on behalf of Dan Goodman
>Sent: Thu 11/13/2008 11:09 PM
>Subject: Re: porno as a count noun
>"As for 'controversial' songs and albums nominations, an ancient album
>from early 70's "Freakin' at the Freaker's Ball' by Shel Silverstein has
>tracks like 'Don't Give A Dose To The One You Love Most' and 'I Saw
>Polly In A Porno With a Pony'"
>Dan Goodman
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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