"Will _SANG 4_ FOOD"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 5 01:48:17 UTC 2014

Sign carried by a homeless black man in Florence, South Carolina. Caps as
in the original.

What's of interest - to me, anyway - is that a speaker unable to
distinguish "sing" from "sang," presumably because his dialect recognizes
no such distinction, nevertheless uses "4" for "for," despite the fact that
BE *does* distinguish between "4" [foU] and "for" [fO(r)] / [f^(r)] and, in
the St. Louis BE of my lost youth, "for" falls together with "far," as

Like, I *still* trip over "4" in place of "for," in reading. But, I *never*
confuse "sing" and "sang" in writing.

A man who's computer-literate, but who's not "grammar"-literate?


[The classification of this comment is ;-). This comment is classified ;-).]

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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