Singing in a dialect and "Authentic pronunciation" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 2 07:13:44 UTC 2010

On Sat, Nov 20, 2010 at 9:00 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> Like, "consign you to squaredom"?

_square someone off_ "reveal to the world a person's secret proclivity
toward lameness, thereby allowing the hip to make mock of him"

In my day, it was unfortunately the case that liking the blues was
considered to be lame, in Saint Louis. People lied to one another
about their plans, then embarrassingly ran into one another at the the
Master B.B. [King] concert. A bright-skinned frat brother turned red
as a beet, when he became aware of the fact that he was singing Jimmy
Reed's "Honest I Do" under his breath, as he pondered his next move on
the chessboard. He tried to explain it away by claiming that the only
black music available in West Lafayette was that broadcast from the
legendary Randy's Record Shop in Nashville via a 50K-watter. And,
like, <blush! heh! heh!> you know, those Southern stations. Lotta
"country" - i.e. unsophisticated-black - music.

Reed's composition, "Bright Lights, Big City," provided the title of a
novel, as well as the title and part of the soundtrack of the
subsequent movie.
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

Once we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity,
or evil intent, we can uncumber ourselves of the impossible burden of
trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
that we could be in error, without necessarily deeming ourselves
idiotic or unworthy.
–Kathryn Schulz

The American Dialect Society -

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