Portmanteau Quotes (2 quotes)
In 1963, when I assigned the name quark to the fundamental constituents of the nucleon, I had the sound first, without the spelling, which could have been kwork. Then, in one of my occasional perusals of Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce, I came across the word quark in the phrase Three quarks for Muster Mark. Since quark (meaning, for one thing, the cry of a gull) was clearly intended to rhyme with Mark, as well as bark and other such words, I had to find an excuse to pronounce it as kwork. But the book represents the dreams of a publican named Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker. Words in the text are typically drawn from several sources at once, like the portmanteau words in Through the Looking Glass. From time to time, phrases occur in the book that are partially determined by calls for drinks at the bar. I argued, therefore, that perhaps one of the multiple sources of the cry Three quarks for Muster Mark might be pronunciation for Three quarts for Mister Mark, in which case the pronunciation kwork would not be totally unjustified. In any case, the number three fitted perfectly the way quarks occur in nature.
When autumn returns with its long anticipated holidays, and preparations are made for a scamper in some distant locality, hammer and notebook will not occupy much room in the portmanteau, and will certainly be found most entertaining company.