And by the way, shouldn't the word Simpson used be spelled "teat"? The "tit" pronunciation of "teat" is seared in my memory, because once, years ago, I read the phrase "colder than a witch's teat" and pronounced it "teet." Apparently, at least in some sectors — possibly including Wyoming — you sound like a fool if you say "teet." It's "tit." "Tit" for "teat."
IN THE COMMENTS: Charlie Martin said:
You're correct about the pronunciation. /tit/ is the common pronunciation for most country folks and is listed as the preferred pronunciation in some dictionaries, and is the technical term in dairy farming for the place where the milk comes outta.Anne B. said:
/teet/ is the preferred pronunciation for the sort of little old ladies that say the table has "limbs" and city folks who think what the milk comes outta is a cardboard box.
I'm pretty sure Mencken used it first, or at least used it earlier. "A milch cow with 125,000,000 teats" was his description of the second FDR administration.She's right!
Still fits, of course.
Why did Simpson retreat? He could have made his critics look dumb and elitist by pointing out a literary reference they didn't get and a country-style pronunciation they weren't in touch with.
CORRECTIONS: I made 2 little corrections: adding a "d" to "pronounce" is paragraph 2 and deleting the stray word "embarrassed" after "look" in the last paragraph. I don't always note superficial tidying up like that, but I'm doing it this time because I just have the feeling that Althouse-haters are quoting the "embarrassed" mistake and saying I should be "embarrassed." I'm not trying to hide that I'm capable of typing and editing mishaps, only trying to make things as readable as possible.
ADDED: Simpson's comment was made by email, so he chose the spelling "tit."