"cellar door"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Feb 18 17:46:48 UTC 2010

Does anyone know if the earliest references to the beauty of the word
"cellar door" (for which purposes all parties seem to accept that it
*is* a word, in the great WOTY tradition) were presupposing a rhotic
or non-rhotic pronunciation?  That would seen to be a factor in one's
aesthetics on the matter.


At 12:21 PM -0500 2/18/10, Mark Mandel wrote:
>Quite incidentally, there's an apparent allusion to "cellar door" in sf as
>the city of "Selerdor". I couldn't remember the author and source, but
>quickly found them in one of Grant's "many thousands more online", at the
>very bottom of
>Just a small curiousity that will probably shed no light: I'm rereading "A
>>  World Out of Time" by Larry Niven; a very cool book, copyright 1976. It's
>>  about a guy who travels through time, eventually going several million years
>>  into the future. At one point in his journey he awakes into a society where
>>  he is virtually a slave, not allowed to learn anything about the world as it
>>  is then. The name of the city, Selerdor, is mentioned one time by his captor
>>  and twice more later inthe book. So I'm thinking, time travel novel written
>>  in 1976, Selerdor, "cellar door", Donnie Darko. I google it and nothing, but
>>  give me a break! Our protagonist's destination (in the book) after time
>>  travel is the mysterious city Selerdor, about which he knows nothing. After
>>  leaving Selerdor, he rebels and deviates from the destiny planned for him by
>>  the denizens of that place and time travels some more. Coincidence? Maybe.
>>  Either way it's a very good (and short) book which I highly recommend. Wish
>>  I could find some sort of connection.
>>  -- Anonymous, February 01, 2005
>m a m
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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