[Ads-l] hip/hep and happenin

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Wed Mar 16 04:32:57 UTC 2016

Drs. Rice and Cohen were travelling through the Apennine Mountains of Italy when they found a store selling "Apennine" clothes and shoes.  In heavily-accented English the proprietor told them that this type of clothing and footwear was quite popular among African-Americans, to whom it was sold under the trademark of "Hapenin".

Drs. Rice and Cohen were intrigued by the proprietor's accent, which was certainly not Italian.  The proprietor explained that he was, indeed, not Italian but rather was an Italic, a member of a pre-Roman people that still survived in the remoter parts of the Apennines.  His native tongue was Umbrian, an Indo-European language that, like Oscan and Sabine, was a sister language of Latin.   The Italics had managed to resist assimilation for so many "milleniums" (as he put it) because they lived on mountain slopes so steep that it was impossible to stand upright and people had to stand slanting.  That is why to this day slanted type is called "italic".

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

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