"Norval" ... How do *you* pronounce it?

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 1 01:18:15 UTC 2009

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 8:52 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> At 5:51 PM -0400 8/31/09, Mark Mandel wrote:
> >"I am the Dean and this is Mrs. Liddell.
> >She plays the first, and I the second fiddle."
> >
> >(source: Gardner, M., The Annotated Alice, 1998, p.100)
> >
> >cited at http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/alice9.html
> >
> >ISTR also some mention by Carroll of "the two little girls", punning
> >on the name. Gardner probably has it, but I'm AFB (away from book) at
> >the moment.
> >
> Yup, that's where I must have learned it myself.

At the Mad Tea-Party, the Dormouse says, "Once upon a time there were
three little sisters..." That's where Gardner's annotation with the "I
am the Dean..." couplet appears.

--Ben Zimmer

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

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