_Boody_ "arse" vs. _booty_ "id."

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 14 04:38:34 UTC 2011

Some may remember an earlier post in which I mentioned the case in
which a black male author's use of "boody" was _sic_-ed by a black
female reviewer. My first impression was that she was annoyed by his
use of the obscenity. Further reading revealed that it was, rather,
the author's use of the spelling, _boody_, instead of -_booty_ .

IAC, the book is Don't The Moon Look Lonesome and its author is Stanley Crouch.

As for my further blather about "emphatic devoicing" being the
probable origin of the feeling that the proper spelling of "boody" is
_booty_, causing people to relate the word to _booty_ in the pirate
sense, a clear example of this can be heard in the rap, Rapper's
Delight, by the Sugar Hill Gang. The rapper has the audience repeat
after him:

"I. Am. Somebah.Tea!"

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

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

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