The Chinese squeaky-pen dog

The One Big Happy from 7/2: yet another episode in which Ruthie copes with unfamiliar vocabulary by assimilating it to familiar (but usually not mundane) vocabulary:


Mom says Shar Pei, Ruthie says Sharpie:

/ šàrpé / vs / šárpi /

(different accentual patterns; segmentally identical except for the /e/ vs. /i/ in the final syllable, which are minimally different phonologically)

The two relevant (proper) nouns…

Shar Pei. From Wikipedia:

(#2) A young dog, very wrinkled; they becomes less so as they age (photo from the Zooplus site, © biker3 /

The Shar Pei (Cantonese: shā pèih or Mandarin: 沙皮 shā pí) is a dog breed from southern China. Traditionally kept for dog fighting, the Shar Pei was driven to the point of extinction in the 20th century, the breed is known in the west for its deep wrinkles whilst a traditional less wrinkled form is maintained in Hong Kong.

Sharpie.  From Wikipedia:

(#3) A variety of Sharpie types  (Wikipedia photo)

Sharpie is a brand of writing instruments (mainly permanent marker pens) [now] manufactured by Newell Brands, … headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally designating a single permanent marker, the Sharpie brand has been widely expanded and can now be found on a variety of previously unrelated permanent and non-permanent pens and markers formerly marketed under other brands.

… “Sharpie” was originally a name designating a permanent marker launched in 1964 by the Sanford Ink Company.

… [And then in recent news:] United States President [REDACTED] has a well-known preference for using Sharpies to sign official government documents.

In September 2019, [REDACTED] was involved in a “Sharpie-gate” controversy, in which – as CNN reports: “[REDACTED] defended an apparent Sharpie-altered map of Hurricane Dorian’s predicted path.”

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