OT: ffolliott

Sun Feb 14 06:47:27 UTC 2010

> At 2/11/2010 09:15 AM, Amy West wrote:
> >The other strike against my long-s hypothesis is that
> the words
> >themselves often make it clear whether it's f or
> long-s. There's
> >actually few opportunities for real ambiguity.
> Except by the ditsy verger in "Vicar of Dibley".
> Joel

And of course there's the third line of John Donne's "The Good-Morrow":

       I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
       Did, till we loved?  were we not weaned till then,
       But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?

I don't know how it plays in the all-too-numerous Donne MSS, but in the 1633 edition of his _Poems_, "sucked" is spelled with an initial long-s.

That this may be a deliberate graphemic pun on Donne's part could be reinforced by the double-meaning of "country" at the time -- think Hamlet to Ophelia, "Do you speak of country matters?"  (I quote from memory.)


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

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