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Fair does, Molly: it is for Californians.

Every ESL speaker deserves to be taught properly and professionally!

I cannot see David (Email Removed)'s articles, so I am having to make do with replying to Molly's.
I am intrigued by the expression 'fair does'. I have only ever heard it pronounced 'fair dooze', which doesn't make a lot of sense, but have occasionally seen it written as 'fair dues', which does. 'Dooze' would be the American pronunciation of that, and I presume it must have been the British pronunciation as well at some stage (and still is today in some regions).

Alan Pemberton
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
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At 18:00:43 on Mon, 17 Nov 2008, Alan Pemberton
(Email Removed) wrote in :
I am intrigued by the expression 'fair does'. I have only ever heard it pronounced 'fair dooze', which doesn't make ... presume it must have been the British pronunciation as well at some stage (and still is today in some regions).

"Dooze" is certainly the British pronunciation, too. The problem lies with the spelling. Many people spell it as "fair do's", but a greengrocer's apostrophe like that would cause every person on this newsgroup to shriek for the sick-bag. So, how to represent the pronunciation? "Dos" should, by the rules of orthography, be pronounced "dozz" (if we stick with greengrocers, a cos lettuce comes to mind as well).
It's all the fault of the irregular spelling of "do" (or, to be quite honest, of the nouning of the verb). If it were "doo", then "doos" would be fine. Loo/loos; poo/poos. (Must be all that fruit'n'veg we've been eating.) I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a word pronounced to rhyme with "do", and spelt with a single "o", which has a plural, from which we could draw a pattern. "Who" has no plural; there is "whose", but that's a possessive pronoun, so there. Anyway, "dose" would be pronounced as in a generous helping of the most efficacious medicinal compound of Dr J. Collis Browne, which would resolve the lavatorial difficulties, but not the problem in hand.

("Dues" is a red herring, but perhaps we'd better not start down that particular nutritional path.)

Molly Mockford
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety - Benjamin Franklin (My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)
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Many people spell it as "fair do's", but a greengrocer's apostrophe like that would cause every person on this newsgroup to shriek for the sick-bag.

But if one accepts the spelling "does", then one can claim that the apostrophe does not indicate a possessive but rather marks the omission of the "e". It has the advantage of avoiding any potential confusion with female deer.

John Hall
"It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information."
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Many people spell it as "fair do's", but a greengrocer's apostrophe like that would cause every person on this newsgroup to shriek for the sick-bag.

But if one accepts the spelling "does", then one can claim that the apostrophe does not indicate a possessive but rather marks the omission of the "e". It has the advantage of avoiding any potential confusion with female deer.

I bet the boot would be on the other foot when it comes to 'sho's'.

New Marmite(TM): Not as thick! Not as dark! Not as te!

David - toro-danyo atcost uku fullstop co fullstop uk http://www.toro-danyo.uku.co.uk /
Have you encountered Irony yet?

That and adolescent sarcasm, too.

It's Christmas, innit!
Regards
Chuck Rocks

New Marmite(TM): Not as thick! Not as dark! Not as te!

David - toro-danyo atcost uku fullstop co fullstop uk http://www.toro-danyo.uku.co.uk /
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That and adolescent sarcasm, too.

It's Christmas, innit!

Bah, humbug!
Regards Chuck Rocks

Regards,
Chuck Riggs
Near Dublin, Ireland