spelling the interlabial trill

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Jan 28 02:26:51 UTC 2009

PPPTTTHHH gets 78 Google hits. Two letters each gets 94 and four each
gets 76. There are only a couple with the B at the start. There are
probably a lot with mismatching numbers of letters. FWIW. BB

On Jan 27, 2009, at 6:15 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      spelling the interlabial trill
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I found the following while looking up the name of Al Capp's character
> Joe Bftsplk:
> http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1688778&tstart=30&start=45
> Al Capp, creator of Li'l Abner, spelled it BFTSPLK. I know this
> because one time on the Johnny Carson show he was discussing the
> character in his strip who walked around with a cloud always over his
> head. The world's unluckiest man. His name was Mr. Bftsplk (a close
> relation to one of the characters in the Superman comics). Johnny
> tried for a phonetic pronunciation, and Capp interrupted with a loud
> raspberry noise. It soon became clear that Mr. Bftsplk's name was
> pronounced thusly. Johnny protested that you don't spell a raspberry
> sound "Bftsplk," and Capp asked him "So how do you spell it?"
> <<<<
> I'd never thought of that, always having pronounced it as it's
> written. The only (semi-)conventionalized spelling I know of for the
> raspberry is something like BPPPPPPPPPTTTTTTTTHHHH, with the order and
> number of the letters varying... and of course you can't Google bp+t+h
> and get anything useful. Has anyone studied it? Just curious.

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