Thursday, November 22, 2007

Holiday stress...or intonation rather

Buffy was too busy to travel today but she told me I could go drive up to Michigan for the day if I wished to visit family. How could I pass up the opportunity to cook my first Thanksgiving meal and share it with my wife for our first Thanksgiving alone.

The food came out fine. That's always stressful. The only thing I hope to eventually do differently is replace those packaged buns in the background with homemade bread.

Over at The Greenbelt the Ridger has posted on a couple of intonational and morphological issues related to the word Thanksgiving and the phrase Happy Thanksgiving.

I was going to do a post on the stress pattern in the word -- but go ahead and read McWhorter and Liberman and you'll learn a lot more.

One simple point. I always say THANKSgiving with primary stress on the initial syllable. And I was very surprised when I heard all my officemates say that they put the stress on the give syllable. So much for my ear being carefully tuned to what's being said around me.

I hope you have enjoyed everything you chose to fill yourself with today.

Whether it had anything to do with the American holiday or not.


  1. I find emptying myself the day after thanks-GIVE-ing at least as enjoyable as the filling myself on the day....

    Does that even constitute a pun, or does the scatological allusion overwhelm the spiritual one right from the start?

  2. Yeah. The scatological is a bit too much on that one.

    And I'm not sure that's much of a pun anyway. It's certainly a double entendre. We'll work on the assumption that we agree on the difference.

  3. I was using pun colloquially, and since there's really no right or wrong when it comes to words, stop writing me prescriptions!

    Just kidding. I'm still picking at that bone...


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