[Ads-l] Linguistics

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 14 13:56:58 EDT 2016

If it helps any, the chorus of the song goes, "You're so mystifyingly glad,
I'm Mr. Dieingly Sad" (and then at the end, "I'm so mystifyingly glad, not
Mr. Dieingly Sad"). The title is, uh, mystifying, to say the least --
including the spelling, which Mr. Ciccone explained here:

When the song was released, I never got to approve label copy. That’s why
it was spelled wrong on the label. So for all of eternity, I have to deal
with somebody who never knew how to spell, spelling the name of “Dieingly
Sad.” I never had any written notes, but of course, I would have spelled it
right. The word dying is spelled d-y-i-n-g, but you get these guys working
for the record company, they weren’t educated guys from college. They were
street guys putting these companies together. So to them it was  d-i-e,
die, i-n-g ing, l-y ly. So now I have people looking at the label and
asking me “So this is your song Mr. DING-LY sad?” Any time that I will
re-record it from here on out, I’m spelling it correctly, with a “Y.” Not
that there is such a word.

On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 1:41 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> Apparently, neverknowing runs in the family! From one of my brothers:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Garrett Gray <garrett_gray at verizon.net>
> Date: Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 9:23 AM
> Subject: Linguistics
> To: Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com>
> I kind of enjoyed listening to a song by the Critters titled “Mystifyingly
> Sad” a  couple of decades ago.  I even hummed along with it from time to
> time.  Today’s paper has an obit for the lead singer, Don Ciccone, and
> refers to the group’s hit, “Mr. Dieingly Sad.”  Who knew!

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

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