Early texting?

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 19 01:21:16 UTC 2009

On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 7:35 PM, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:
> Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > Then live a jolly bachelor, let Cupid sing to thee,
> > "YYs UR, YYs UR, I C U R YYs for me."
> >
> I wonder how the "YYs"s in the last line are supposed to be read:
> "two-Y+s" = "too wise" seems OK, but at least for the first and second
> instance "twice-Y+s" = "twice wise" would be at least as good IMHO.

I've known that rebus-riddle since I was a kid, with the reading "too
wise" in all three places. I think it was in a book for children, but
I'm afraid I can't give you a citation after fifty years or so. There
was no "s" in the version I knew: "YYUR, YYUB, ICU RÂ  YY 4 me". And
Google (/YYUR YYUB/) shows that it's still in use.

Mark Mandel

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

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