DEAR ABBY: "Webbed in Columbia, Md." wondered what kind of spider went up the waterspout (July 8). Well, it depends on the location of that spout. Waterspouts in England, Australia (and I'm guessing Canada) attract spiders that are "incy wincy." American waterspouts are climbed by "itsy bitsy" spiders. (And at this time of year we see really big ones.)
Between English-speaking countries there are also slightly different lyrics for "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Ring Around the Rosie." Because my hubby and I are from opposite sides of the Atlantic "pond," our son is learning multiple versions of many things. -- SUNKISSED IN HOUSTON
DEAR SUNKISSED: Readers young and old responded to that letter, and you are correct that it depends upon which side of the pond you hail from. In the United States, it's also "teensy weensy" and "itty bitty." In Switzerland, it's "inky dinky." And then there was the following submission:
DEAR ABBY: The confusion may stem from "Webbed's" family members having confused the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" poem (song) with the "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" song. The spider song I learned in school and the bikini song I heard when my dad belted it out. It made us all laugh. Thanks for the memories. -- KAREN IN RENO, NEV.