Issue 206, page 4

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From Carolyn:

As a former reference assistant and librarian, I applaud, i.e., clap--put my hands together--to praise you for this wonderful site! As a child, and until today( when I am in my 60's), I was and am the one who had to know why. [Or maybe I wouldn't go along with whatever...]

In the late 1960's, I worked for Crowell-Collier Macmillan, answering reference questions through the mail. Even if computers replaced that very slow process, and, thereby eliminated that job, I am glad they did. This way is infinitely better.

From Nickoli:

In The low-down on high tea, you comment that "the American version of the scone rhymes with bone whereas the English kind (usually) rhymes with gone."  Living in England, I can inform you that rhyming with bone (or cone) is actually quite common - probably about half of the population from my own estimates. Interestingly, pronunciation varies in relatively small areas rather than large regions, and most people, regardless of which they use, consider the other form to be "posh".

From Barbara:

I was born and brought up in the North Midlands of UK. We always had high tea around 6 pm. We didn't have meat for high tea (unless cold meat) but "things on toast" like baked beans or cheese on toast (called Welsh rarebit and pronounced "rabbit"), followed by slices of bread, butter and jam, then homemade fruit cake.. My grandmother called high tea "proper tea", as opposed to the fairly quick "cuppa" which constituted afternoon tea (taken around 3.30 - 4 pm). Your picture (with the three tiers of plates) showed a rather special tea as provided for guests. It could have been taken at our home!

From Daniel:

I was a bit surprised when reading your entry on the word daftar in TOWFI Issue 205, page 2, that the Arabic word was derived from Greek. I assumed that the Arabic word is related to the Hebrew word daf, which means “page”, and thus derived from a common Semitic root. Or does the Hebrew word daf also derive from Greek?

From Andrew:

According to the English Mrs Beeton's book of cookery and household management, a pikelet is a "yeasted variation of a crumpet or pancake cooked without rings..." The batter is usually the same for both leavened pancakes and crumpets, but one is turned and the other cooked in rings on one side and later toasted (try it with egg rings in a covered pan on low heat). In Australia a pikelet is simply a small pancake leavened with baking powder rather than yeast, often served cold with whipped cream and jam (like scones).

The Cordon Bleu cookbook series published in the early '70s by the London Cordon Bleu Cookery School (more recently acquired by the French) lists several different types of scone. Wholemeal scones, baked in quarters; girdle scones (they mean griddle), cooked in quarters on a griddle, possibly with currants; drop scones made with egg and cooked on a griddle or fry pan (what we in Australia call pikelets); potato scones, also cooked on a griddle; soda scones (your plain round English scones), baked; savory drop scones (with cayenne pepper and parmesan), and savory baked scones; and Welsh cakes or girdle scones, baked in rounds on a griddle with currants. CB's crumpets are made with yeast but no egg, and don't seem to rise much more than a pancake. In Australia we usually make small round (soda) scones, but larger cakes baked in rounds and quartered or even in sheets and then sliced are also known as scones, and currant, raisin and pumpkin scones are also popular beside the standard plain scone.

The pejorative descent of hussy is also reflected in an older word for woman, quean. While the related queen ascended in status from a wife to the consort of a king, quean fell from a woman in general to a "bold and ill-behaved" one.

The phrase "work out of the office" or "out of home" should strictly refer to someone who works outside of the location (such as a salesman, police officer or merchandiser) but uses it as a fixed base to which they routinely return. e.g., "John works out of our San Francisco office.From there he visits dealers throughout the north of California;" "Avon allows thousands of woman (and even some men) to work out of home at times that suit them;" "As a traveling salesman Phil works long hours out of his car;" returning for stock and to drive to a new prospect.

Although not necessary, photo's is at least explainable as an abbreviation of photographs.

From John:

Welcome back! I felt as though I had lost touch with friends when there was such a long “silence”. You two (and your team, if you wish to pass it on) never cease to amaze, and delight me. I’ve been described as “fussy with words” (and a lot of rather more unkind things!) for as long as I can remember, and it’s so refreshing to find people as concerned as I am about using words with care.

Thank you for your kind words!  As we have explained in our blog, we were having to work at our "day" jobs more to make ends meet, and had to sacrifice TOWFI time.  However, we could stand to be TOWFI-less no longer, so we are giving it a shot to see if we can make ends meet and publish TOWFI.  However, to do so we need the help of you, our readers.  If you enjoy this issue, please make a donation today.  Just click the PAYPAL button at the top of this column.  Thank you!

From Michael:

Is it too late to weigh in [on the pecan pronunciation issue]? As a native Louisianian, my pronunciation has always been puh-KAHN (and CRAWfish and PRAWlines). But there is another rural Louisiana pronunciation that didn't come through clearly in some of the other Southerners' submissions: PUH-kawn, with emphasis on the first syllable, first syllable rhyming with luck, second rhyming with dawn. BTW I teach diction to singers and enjoy discussions like this immensely. Here in Tennessee where I now live I'll order PRAWlines and cream at the ice cream shop and invariably get a look. I just return a grin. (And they say, mostly, puh-KAHN in Tennessee.)

So it appears our sweeping assessment of pecan pronunciation in the U.S. was on target.  For the most part, except for a few pockets, Southerners stress the second syllable and Northerners stress the first syllable.


Or read the last issue to see what all of these people are talking about!

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