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Greenville’s McDavid became language, dialect expert

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Retired Furman English professor Judy Bainbridge writes an article in The Greenville News about 1931 graduate Raven loor McDavid, Jr. The standout was an Eagle Scout; valedictorian at Greenville High School; member of the Furman tennis and golf teams; editor of two campus publications; Furman class officer; and Furman valedictorian. He earned his Ph.D. in English literature at Duke with a specialty in Milton. In a roundabout way, his study of Milton was the springboard to his contribution to linguistic atlases of the Middle and South Atlantic regions for which he conducted more than 350 interviews. Said Bainbridge, “In addition to having a Southern accent ‘you could cut with a knife,’ he was keenly observant and increasingly knowledgeable about word sources, sound patterns, and especially, their cultural context.”

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