Remembering Ann

Today is May 9, Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s birthday (she died in January 1985, oh so long ago). In her memory, I’ve added to my website a collaborative piece she and I wrote long ago on “Telegraphic registers in written English” (from a NWAV conference in Montréal), here. Recipes, classified ads, menus, men’s-room sexual graffiti, telegrams, newspaper headlines, and more. Ann got me into the topic, as I constructed materials for my introductory linguistics classes and began to absorb influences from my (eventual) Stanford colleague Charles Ferguson.

Style and register ended up becoming one of my things.

[Ann just detested Mother’s Day, which was yesterday. She hated the whole idea of the holiday, and especially the fact that it regularly intruded on her birthday. On the other hand, both days would always come close to Derby Day (Ann was born on Derby Day) — the running of the Kentucky Derby (Saturday this year), a big event in our household because Ann’s family were horse people, and her father was a thoroughbred racing steward (a judge), eventually the senior steward for the state of Kentucky, which meant that he oversaw the Derby in Louisville (and also Keeneland in Lexington).

Ann herself rode horses from an early age (we have a childhood photo of her on Man O’ War, who went to stud on her great-aunt Elizabeth’s farm), and broke bones all her life on horseback — she turned out to have rather brittle bones — right up to a week or so before that conference in Montréal, which she went to, undaunted, with her left arm in a cast.]

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