"Don=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99t_?=let the door hit you in the butt on the way out"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 4 20:47:27 UTC 2012

On Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 12:21 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Geneva Smitherman

surprisingly, has her problems with BE as she is spoken. Well, sung. I
work from memory.

Willie Mabon sang,

My papa told me
My mama sat down and cried
She said
You too young a man, son
To have the many women you _got_

Smitherman hears this _got_ as "guide{?)." OTOH, where I'm from in
East Texas, we say _got_ as "gat," with IPA low, front /a/. So, to
someone unfamiliar with this variety of BE, "cried" may force a
questioned "guide," even though that makes no sense. Of course, as
Dylan has clearly demonstrated, there's no need for lyrics to have a
clear interpretation, as long as people like the song.

Muddy Waters sang,

I got a axe-handled pistol
On a graveyard frame
That shoot tombstone bullets
Wearin' balls and chain

Smitherman hears

I got a axe and a pistol
On the graveyard, friend
That shoot tombstone boozers(?)
Wearin' balls and chain

To paraphrase Mercy Dee, "Has she ever been out in the country?"

Well, strictly speaking, neither have I, to tell it like it T-I-'tis.
But, I got peoples not only come from behind the sun, but also be from
out in the country. Rhey keep me reminded that old folks call _cover_

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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