Author Topic: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country  (Read 3601 times)

yesno

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Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« on: August 05, 2009, 05:40:26 PM »
http://www.necn.com/Boston/New-England/2009/07/27/Apostrophes-making/1248740698.html

This missing apostrophe menace is gradually making its way north.

Trembling Eagle

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 07:03:46 AM »
where are their accents?

Sarah

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 07:30:13 AM »
It's a tragedy, one that strikes home even harder for me, someone with a period in her last name that is perpetually at risk.

TE, lots of the fancy-pants types in NE don't have accents. 

chrisfoll577

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 07:47:23 AM »
This is the kind of folksy, boring 'news' story that some New Englanders (...like me) eat up.  I'm surprised to see that Chet Curtis is still alive too.

TE, lots of the fancy-pants types in NE don't have accents. 

This is true.  A Boston, Vermont or Down East accent might be seen by some as a sign of lower class or little education. A lot of people try to lose their accents, I even find myself hardening my 'Rs' at school and work.  Conversely, when I've had a few drinks, I sound like I'm straight out of 'Good Will Hunting'.

Sarah

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 08:09:57 AM »
Yup.  Around here, a Maine accent is a class marker:  those without gaze down from on high at those with.  And those with look down in turn at anyone who talks with a Campobello accent. 

yesno

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 10:35:54 AM »
a Maine accent is a class marker

I think the same is largely true of Jersey accents, though just as in Maine I'm sure "class" only roughly corresponds with money.  In fact having too much money can be somewhat déclassé. (I highly recommend Paul Fussell's Class on this point, which I'm reading now, or at least this article about it.)

Accents can tend to become exaggerated by people as they move away from the area where the accent is from, as it becomes more important to signal "look where I'm from" than "look how much better I am than my neighbors."  Also people with "no" accent often find that they do in fact have one.  Though my native speech has been eroded by 10 years of living in the West I can have an accent when angry (which is often), or for such words as "mall" and "coffee."  Additionally, when agitated, I swear quite a bit more than my simple, God-fearing companions.

It drives me crazy that no one on Colorado, or perhaps any place in America outside of the East, can hear a difference between Aaron and Erin.  They say both like I say "Erin."  The Mary/marry/merry test is more well-known but doesn't seem to actually pop up in speech.

edit to add:  I bet in NJ/NY accent can also correspond to ethnicity.  The older WASP families (and the towns they live in) being less likely to have one than the barbarous Catholics.  It's definitely not just an Italian thing, though.  My fatha is a testament to that.

buffcoat

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 11:41:24 AM »
I always thought I had no significant Southern accent because the suburb I grew up in was overrun by Yankee transplants until a linguist friend told me that somewhere along the line I'd (subconsciously?) decided it was better not to have one.

People from other parts of the country who meet me inevitably think I'm from Iowa or some other place where they don't know what the accent would be.
I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy tone, Bro!

Trembling Eagle

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 11:49:16 AM »
I always thought I had no significant Southern accent because the suburb I grew up in was overrun by Yankee transplants until a linguist friend told me that somewhere along the line I'd (subconsciously?) decided it was better not to have one.

People from other parts of the country who meet me inevitably think I'm from Iowa or some other place where they don't know what the accent would be.

The southern American accent is a peculiar thing I think. Where did it come from and why is it so persistent?

buffcoat

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2009, 11:53:16 AM »
The Scotch-Irish, I believe.  I heard a radio interview with Liam Neeson about playing a Southerner and his dialogue coach told him to use his Irish accent for half of each word and then a different accent for the other half.


TE, if you came down and spent some time in the South, you'd see that the accent isn't particularly strong in many of the suburbs and cities.  It gets deeper the more rural you go.

There are similarities in the way, say, that Pennsylvania and Ohio work.

But I'm fully expecting that some wacky funsters will have their way with your question.
I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy tone, Bro!

Sarah

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 12:39:31 PM »
What gets me is how many distinct accents there still are in England.  Seems like that tiny island has more than all the United States.  I find that neato.

Trembling Eagle

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2009, 03:01:40 PM »
The Scotch-Irish, I believe.  I heard a radio interview with Liam Neeson about playing a Southerner and his dialogue coach told him to use his Irish accent for half of each word and then a different accent for the other half.


TE, if you came down and spent some time in the South, you'd see that the accent isn't particularly strong in many of the suburbs and cities.  It gets deeper the more rural you go.

There are similarities in the way, say, that Pennsylvania and Ohio work.

But I'm fully expecting that some wacky funsters will have their way with your question.

I've heard that but it's so different than the base accent...

yesno

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2009, 03:19:03 PM »
What gets me is how many distinct accents there still are in England.  Seems like that tiny island has more than all the United States.  I find that neato.

I read once that this is generally true of colonizing languages generally.  Of course, only a subset of the population ends up colonizing to begin with, often people who do not speak the prestige dialect, and thus the way that colonies speak is somewhat stigmatized to begin with.

Nevertheless, the reduced "accent pool" that constitutes most colonial stock tends to breed linguistic and accent conservatism.  Thus, generally the daughter countries' forms of speech do not change as much (but are in turn criticized by the mother countries, who mistakenly believe their own much-changed dialect to be more "pure," for their barbaric ways.)

Thus South American Spanish tends to be more linguistically conservative, Quebec French is the more archaic form, American English famously has a number of older grammatical forms since lost in Britain (gotten), Pennsylvania "Dutch" is basically 17th century German, and most American dialects are rhotic which was the norm in 17th Century Britain.  Hell, Romanian is closer to Latin than Italian, and I'm sure that while only vulgar Latin was spoken over most of the Western empire you would have found more forms of speaking in Rome proper.

Sarah

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2009, 03:48:10 PM »
I'm thinking the comparative paucity of dialects here and in other young countries is a result of their youth--the dialects just haven't had time to develop--and the fact that their short lives have taken place during a stretch of years when communication and transportation have become easier and easier, making for more homogeneity.

Martin

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2009, 04:05:10 PM »
I have no idea how my accent comes across these days. I am raised on American pop culture, and bits and pieces from songs, books and movies (not to mention certain radio shows) tend to make it into my vocabulary before I know it. But all through my school years, from age ten onward, I was taught 'proper' British English. I have friends both in England and in the US, spent a lot of time in England as a teen; I'm guessing I'm drifting back and forth between a neutral London-esque (not necessarily cockney) British English and some sort of generic, probably-NY influenced American pattern, depending on who I talk to.

I also tend to dumb down my English when I speak to other non-native speakers whose English is worse than mine.  I do it almost unconsciously - I find that interesting.

yesno

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Re: Disappearing apostrophes near Sarah's country
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2009, 04:15:57 PM »
I find that Scandinavians or Germans who speak very good English sound as if they're from some lost and distant, alternate universe county of England. More comprehensible to me than your average Glaswegian or Alabama governor.