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Thread: Offical English Grammar and Vocab Rules Need ta be Updated

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    Elite member Fire Haired14's Avatar
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    Offical English Grammar and Vocab Rules Need ta be Updated

    I'm creating this thread to post unofficial but often spoken forms of English.

    I've become more councious about language lately because I've started to learn Spanish and read Middle English texts. Now that I'm payin more attention ta the way I and others talk I'm convincest offical English Grammar and Vocab needs to change ta better reflect the way we talk. There's grammar and vocab rules we English speakers follow that aren't written in our grammar books.

    Here's a good example I've already become aware of: Our four 2nd person pronouns: "You', "Chu', "Cha', and "Ya'.

    Some of these 2nd person pronouns replace "to be' verbs in their sentences and so change the whole structure of sentences.

    If you're a native English speaker or have spoken with native speakers for years you'll be able ta understand this.

    "Cha' is used in questions that start with the word "What'.

    "What cha gonna do about it?'
    Instead of: "What are you gonna do about it?'

    "What cha doin?'
    Instead if: "What are you doing?'

    "Ya' can also replace the "to be' in its question sentence. This is the only phrase I could think of where "ya' is used.

    "How ya doin?'
    Instead of: "How are you doing?'

    "Chu' is used in questions, when the "other'(2nd person?) is receiving an action, and in commands starting with "Dont'. Questions where the 2nd person pronoun is preceded by "Did' usually use "chu'.

    "How'd chu do that?'
    Instead if: "How did you do that?

    "Did chu eat my chips?'
    Instead of: "Did you eat my chips?'

    "Don't chu even think about it'
    Or maybe just "Don't even think about it?'

    When the "other'(2nd person) is receiving an action we use "chu' but when the "other'(2nd person) is committing the action we use "you'.

    "I kicked chu'
    "He kicked chu'
    "We kicked chu'
    "They kicked chu'

    "You kicked me'
    "You kicked him'
    "You kicked us'
    "You kicked them'

    Say phrases to yourself where the "other'(2nd person) receives the action and where he comitts the action if you don't believe me this is a legitimate law in the English language. Sometimes we do use "you' instead of "chu', but I'm confident we usually say "chu'.

    Here are other grammar/vocab rules that I think might be more than nonsense slang.

    >The dropping of the "g' sound in (forgot name)verbs and somethin(g). Examples: Doin, runnin, jumpin.

    >"Ta' instead of "To'. "Da' instead of "do'.

    >"-a' added to the end of a word insteada "of'. Examples: Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Mighta.

    >Replacement of "-er' in adjectives with "-a'. Examples: "runna', "puncha'.

    I'll think of more examples later. Different accents of course have different unofficial forms of English. I think "Y'all' for example should be treated as correct grammar.

    The examples I listed are very common in at least the United States. They're important parts of our dpoken English but not our written English.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    English speaking societies have been very flexible in terms of accepting the inevitable evolution of language. France and Italy are very different. Both have societies that "police" language usage. In France it's the Academie Francaise, and in Italy the Accademia della Crusca in Florence. Even professors of Italian quake at the idea of speaking to the members. I personally wouldn't do it at all. :)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accademia_della_Crusca

    However, even in America, until something becomes an accepted change, I would strongly advise learning the proper grammar and using it.

    If you mangle the grammar you telegraph that you're not very intelligent or educated. That has repercussions at work even if no one specifically says so.

    One of the "tells" is the incorrect use of "I" versus "me" in a sentence, although it's by far not the only one. It's a pet peeve of mine. Of course, people who are not "native" speakers are given a pass.

    Most of what you're referencing has to do with pronunciation. Again, there's no benefit to slurring all your words together. Crisp pronunciation makes you more intelligible to other people and also creates a good impression. I got a very good job straight out of college, before earning any of my advanced degrees, and my employer made a point of telling me later that among many highly qualified people I stood out because I spoke so well. Very soon I was making presentations at big company gatherings. Little did he know I wasn't a native English speaker, and that I'd been on a mission to learn to speak English not only correctly, but clearly, and with a certain accent ever since I arrived. It was a source of some amusement to me. :)

    As I said, languages do change. Just be aware that until a change is totally accepted in the circles in which you operate, using "incorrect" English is going to have negative consequences.


    Non si fa il proprio dovere perchè qualcuno ci dica grazie, lo si fa per principio, per se stessi, per la propria dignità. Oriana Fallaci

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    English speaking societies have been very flexible in terms of accepting the inevitable evolution of language. France and Italy are very different. Both have societies that "police" language usage. In France it's the Academie Francaise, and in Italy the Accademia della Crusca in Florence. Even professors of Italian quake at the idea of speaking to the members. I personally wouldn't do it at all. :)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accademia_della_Crusca
    That's extreme but will probably work because of mass communication and school and media in the modern world. That'll make language evolution slow down all over the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    However, even in America, until something becomes an accepted change, I would strongly advise learning the proper grammar and using it.
    Yep. I'm using this thread to post trends I find in incorrect English we commonly use to see if they follow consistent grammar rules and can therefore be an accepted change one day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    If you mangle the grammar you telegraph that you're not very intelligent or educated. That has repercussions at work even if no one specifically says so.
    Ha Ha definitely. Some of our speech is incorrect and inconsistent English, and we are only able to understand it because of context or familiarity with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Most of what you're referencing has to do with pronunciation. Again, there's no benefit to slurring all your words together. Crisp pronunciation makes you more intelligible to other people and also creates a good impression. I got a very good job straight out of college, before earning any of my advanced degrees, and my employer made a point of telling me later that among many highly qualified people I stood out because I spoke so well. Very soon I was making presentations at big company gatherings. Little did he know I wasn't a native English speaker, and that I'd been on a mission to learn to speak English not only correctly, but clearly, and with a certain accent ever since I arrived. It was a source of some amusement to me. :)

    As I said, languages do change. Just be aware that until a change is totally accepted in the circles in which you operate, using "incorrect" English is going to have negative consequences.
    I agree it is important to have good pronunciation and to be articulate especially for important parts of life, but a lot of incorrect English is spoken by everyone and is needed to be used to be understood. For example we drop the "g" in words that end in "-ing" probably more than we don't, we probably use "ta" more than "to", we probably use "chu/cha" more than "you", and so on. If you were to use "you" instead of "chu" in many circumstances even in-front of grammar Nazis you'd sound funny. So I totally agree we need to try to use correct English but I do think there's nothing wrong with using common incorrect English if it helps you to be understood by people.

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    Cole Swindell's song "Stars" has plenty of examples of how we don't pronunciate our words how we write em(them).

    He uses all four second person pronouns I listed above: "You", "Chu", "Cha", "Ya". He often uses "yer" instead of "your" or "chur". He replaces "ing" with "en" He says "ta" instead of "to". He uses "em" instead of "them". He often replaced "ed" ending in past tense verbs with "t".

    This has nothing to do with Southern accent. I didn't notice anything strange about his pronunciation at first. I still don't, it's just now I notice all Americans and maybe all English speakers pronunciate like this.


    "She's got cha see(en)"
    "You wish on em"
    "Shinnen down on ya"
    "Chu were fallen"

    "Shed hopped in yer truck"

    "They dancet on the hook"

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    That's a southern regional accent. You hear a lot of people speak that way in Chicago, do you? In the halls of accademia or industry or finance or any of the places where real decisions are made? As few people in the places that matter speak that way as speak Ebonics.
    http://www.linguisticsociety.org/con...erican-english

    All the rest of us are supposed to adopt that pronunciation? Don't hold your breath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    That's a southern regional accent. You hear a lot of people speak that way in Chicago, do you? In the halls of accademia or industry or finance or any of the places where real decisions are made? As few people in the places that matter speak that way as speak Ebonics.
    http://www.linguisticsociety.org/con...erican-english

    All the rest of us are supposed to adopt that pronunciation? Don't hold your breath.
    We in Chicago speak that way. I was just in Northern Indiana and Wisconsin and they speak that way. I can't think of anyone who doesn't. I'm 90% sure people in New York do to.

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    I've learned to speak something like that when in conversation with those who natively speak that way, but I wouldn't say it's anything close to universal, even in the United States.

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    I wouldn't separate you/ya from chou/cha; it has only to do with pronunciation. A combination of "t+y" easily becomes "ch". It also often happens at "t+u" (venture "venchure") or "t+i" (vacation "vacashion").

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    We in Chicago speak that way. I was just in Northern Indiana and Wisconsin and they speak that way. I can't think of anyone who doesn't. I'm 90% sure people in New York do to.
    Fire-Haired, I'm not sure now if I understand your point. Are you just saying that there is a growing tendency to slur certain words, such as dropping the "ing" from the ends of words, or saying "gonna" instead of "going to"? That may be true to some extent, although how much people do it is dependent on region and "class". It would be extraordinary, however, if you can't hear the difference between the way southerners, like the singer/songwriter from Georgia, speak, and the way that Mid-westerners speak.

    Listen to this Georgia woman:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGxsH6SgKYk

    Now listen to these two Mid-western politicians:Bill Daley and Rod Blagoyevich.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bOkSNXDoIg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dp6EaJCOWs

    Politicians do much better the more "folksy" or "man on the street" they sound, so yes, Blagoyevich, in particular, says, "nothin'", not "nothing", "em", instead of "him", but it's nothing compared to southern regional speech. Daley has a "rough", working class sound to his speech, but even he speaks distinctly, and all the consonants are there.

    As far as New York is concerned, there are a lot of "New York" accents. There are differences by borough in New York, Bronx versus Brooklyn versus Manhattan, "City" vs "Island", "New York" vs "Jersey", and compounded by ethnic differences: the New York Jewish sound with its echoes of Central and Eastern Europe, New York Italian, Irish, Puerto Rican, and on and on. Then, class differences are overlaid on top of that.

    Mayor Ed Koch-The New York Jewish sound
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5KO2b0kEpU

    Geraldine Ferraro-The New York more "educated", "Italian neighborhood" sound, and Rudy Giuliani ditto. I hear a "gonna" in there, but the "ing" endings are intact for Ferraro. Rudy says "ta" instead of "to" way too much, and likewise he should know better than to say "like" the way he does, but not too bad.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll6hGaaUrOY
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-aLDASRGag

    Jimmy Breslin had the working class New York Irish sound. He drops every ending there is; I hate the way he sounds, but even he doesn't sound like a southerner.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdmA3kAurR0

    At the other extreme with Irish New Yorkers-from the right and left-William F. Buckley and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. You'll hear no sloppy, slurred speech here.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFUVTYLwe1U

    Listening to the Trumps, the "accent" changes with their rise in fortunes, and the rise in fortunes is also accompanied by less sloppy pronunciation.

    Donald Sr.: Middle Class generic Queens
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcuQI0V_g-Y

    Ivanka: upper class Manhattan. The boys have a grittier sound, like their father, but she's different, even though she still has that downstate New York or New York Metropolitan area quick paced, rat a tat tat style.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwEcCRhcqNM


    You could do the same thing for Boston.

    John Kerry. He speaks very distinctly indeed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiCGdcB24UQ

    "Southie" Boston Irish: See at your own risk...it's the least vulgar clip I could quickly find. They're barely intelligible, not just because of the specifics of their accent, i.e. how they pronounce certain letters, but also because they speak so sloppily.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsJQnbpgixY

    As for me, I sound like this woman in terms of accent, although more like her prior "upstate New York" self, than "all the regionalisms beaten out of my voice self".

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbP7vYAmKRc
    Last edited by Angela; 24-07-16 at 05:09.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    That's a southern regional accent. You hear a lot of people speak that way in Chicago, do you? In the halls of accademia or industry or finance or any of the places where real decisions are made? As few people in the places that matter speak that way as speak Ebonics.
    http://www.linguisticsociety.org/con...erican-english

    All the rest of us are supposed to adopt that pronunciation? Don't hold your breath.
    He has an obvious southern accent. No one talks like that in Chicago. However we do often pronounce our words the way he did. I've never meet Americans who don't. I'll look at those videos you posted. To me most sound like they have accents. I've heard some, like Daily's and Blagoyevich's, in Chicago mostly among middle aged or older people.

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    There are definitely a lot of accents in America. Angela those politicians are good examples. But we don't have a lot of variety in how we pronuncate our words or even our phrases. We all share pruncations that aren't in our writing. I don't think it needs to be because the differences with how we write and talk is very small.

    Here are recordings of people who grew up in the USA in the 1850s and were teenagers/adults by the 1860s.
    Former Slaves
    Witness to Lincoln's assassination: Born and raised in Washington DC.
    Confederate Soldier: Born and raised in SouthEast Virginia.

    The former slaves use many of the pronunciation I listed in this thread, and have obvious Southern and specifically Black Southern accents. They usually drop the "g" in "ing" ending words, said "chu" at least once, "em" instead of "them", Double negatives("Didn't have no"), "ain't". The white interviewer also had a strong Southern accent.

    The two guys who grew up in the 1850s were raised close by and have similar accents. They sound strange and honestly I've never heard anyone talk quite like them. Their speeches were obviously scripted and use good vocab. When the Confederate general speeches from his mind(instead of a memorized or scripted speech) a Southern-like accent comes out. Both of them usually drop the -er ending of words: "wata/water", "Riva/River", "Borda/Border". Some people do this today.

    IMO, many voice recordings from the early 1900s aren't reliable for how people talked in everyday life. This is because many were scripted and in serious/formal situations, where people will talk carefully and with good vocab/grammar. Voices of Players from Baseball's DeadBall era: The guys being recorded didn't think anyone would hear the recording, so they're talking like they would in everyday life. They use many of the pronunciations I listed in this thread.

    All this makes me think these American pronunciations date to the 19th century at least. Still doesn't mean they should be written.

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    What great finds, Fire-Haired! I listened to each of the links. I love stuff like this.

    I agree with much of what you say, but...

    I could swear the interviewer in the first link isn't southern, but British born.

    I can hear slightly more British Isles-Celtic fringe in the white people from Washington DC and/Virginia in the 1860s, which is really just Virginia, than one can hear in those areas today. That makes sense to me because it was less than 100 years since the split from Britain.

    I disagree that people don't sound like that today. I mean, it's not identical, but I think Virginia and Tennessee/Kentucky people people have retained a lot of that accent, although it's become less "British".

    Al Gore:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWN0fdb0jjE

    Senator Byrd:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZI60DP5Oyo

    Virginia/Tennesse/Kentucky are not South Carolina or Louisiana: the accent is different. Senator Strom Thurmond is the hypocrite, die hard segregationist who fathered a mixed race daughter. As I often say, you couldn't make a lot of this stuff up.

    His speech about not wanting black people using the same pools:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG-c...F6xzd0c7mI94P7

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ecy0...F6xzd0c7mI94P7

    His very dignified daughter:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-hnZVN8lXQ

    I still maintain that although everyone speaks more loosely in informal settings, class plays an important part. Someone who has gone to private schools and Ivy League colleges is always going to speak more distinctly and correctly than someone from the working class, no matter the area of the country or the social setting. Southerners are always going to drop more endings and pronounce fewer consonants. I also think American speech, particularly among young people, is increasingly getting the "sound", the dropped letters and slurring of American black speech, partly because they listen to so much "black" music, and partly because black Americans have become so much more visible on the public stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I disagree that people don't sound like that today. I mean, it's not identical, but I think Virginia and Tennessee/Kentucky people people have retained a lot of that accent, although it's become less "British".
    This makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I still maintain that although everyone speaks more loosely in informal settings, class plays an important part. Someone who has gone to private schools and Ivy League colleges is always going to speak more distinctly and correctly than someone from the working class, no matter the area of the country or the social setting.
    I agree with this. I just think some informal speech might be language evolution instead of bad English.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Southerners are always going to drop more endings and pronounce fewer consonants. I also think American speech, particularly among young people, is increasingly getting the "sound", the dropped letters and slurring of American black speech, partly because they listen to so much "black" music, and partly because black Americans have become so much more visible on the public stage.
    That's true. The dropping of the "g" in participles and replacement of "er" endings with "a" is also the norm of 1700s Scottish English. It's an understanble pronunciation change that appears to have occuered more than once.

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    The greatest change is the use of plural such as you for 'thou'. There were too many forms of the singular such thou art, adding 'ist' and so on that made speaking cumbersome. Try reading Shakespearean and you get the feel of that kind of English. This has affected Hindi too as 'hum' is the equivalent of 'you' instead of 'mein' meaning 'I' while tu is the equivalent of 'thou' it is now tum (plural). Could be because of the British Raj.

    Of course the computer has a lot to do with the change of English because of the shorthand use such as wtf, lol and . The communication was by telex and every letter had a cost and many words and sentences were shortened. Colloquialism is colloquialism.

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    @oriental,

    Can you give more examples were an "ist" ending was used for pluralism in early modern English? "Thouist" isn't any more annoying to use than "You guys" or "Y'all". I don't know how much English has changed since the 1600s, but I'm pretty sure English has changed very little if at all since then or at least the 1700s. That's why today British, Irish, and Americans/Canadians can understand each other so well. There are differnt accents but our English grammar is literally exactly the same. Anyways, so whatever changes in English you're talking about they must have been complete by the time North America was colonized by the British. I'm discussing more recent changes or at least ways we have talked for 100s of years that aren't represented in our writing.

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    If you want to see people butcher English grammar and make unnecessary droppings of sounds in words, read 1700s "Scots English". It's much more extreme than Southern American or "Ebonics".Makes no sense at all. It's not a different dialect it's just bad English. People did change spelling to accompany the ways Scottish talked, because there were so many more differences than there are with any modern English speakers.

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    As to 17th century English:

    Samuel Pepys:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Pepys

    Diary of Samuel Pepys-Extracts of news about the plague:
    http://www.pepys.info/1665/plague.html


    Letter from Samuel Pepys:
    "
    [
    Navy Office
    ]27 April 16651
    Sir,
    From a letter this day come to my hand from a Shipp of ours (the little Guift)2 that in a Conflict with a Hollander on the Irish Coast (wherein shoe though much over matched hath acquitted her selfe very well) hath had severall Men wounded, who are putt on shoare for care at Galloway, give me leave to aske you whether any Provision for sick and wounded men is made in Ireland, not with respect to theis Men only, but to the future ocasions in Generall which wee may Probably have of useing it there. You will Pardon this enquiry from one that hath soe little Right to offer you trouble as

    Your humble servant
    S:P


    http://www.pepysdiary.com/letters/16...pys-to-evelyn/

    One of my favorite Engish poets-John Donne

    This one is very easy to understand; there are others that are much more difficult to understand.

    "A Fever.

    O! Do not die, for I shall hate
    All women so, when thou art gone,
    That thee I shall not celebrate,
    When I remember thou wast one.

    But yet thou canst not die, I know;
    To leave this world behind, is death;
    But when thou from this world wilt go,
    The whole world vapours with thy breath.

    Or if, when thou, the world’s soul, go’st,
    It stay, ’tis but thy carcase then;
    The fairest woman, but thy ghost,
    But corrupt worms, the worthiest men.

    O wrangling schools, that search what fire
    Shall burn this world, had none the wit
    Unto this knowledge to aspire,
    That this her fever might be it?

    And yet she cannot waste by this,
    Nor long bear this torturing wrong,
    For more corruption needful is,
    To fuel such a fever long.

    These burning fits but meteors be,
    Whose matter in thee is soon spent;
    Thy beauty, and all parts, which are thee,
    Are unchangeable firmament.

    Yet ’twas of my mind, seizing thee,
    Though it in thee cannot perséver;
    For I had rather owner be
    Of thee one hour, than all else ever."

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    I eg. I think therefore I am
    Thou eg. Truely thou art a clever man.

    My or mine eg. This is mine
    Thy or thee eg. This fate ist thine.

    Me eg. Forgive me
    Thee eg. Forgivest thee, why?

    If you are wondering how I know this.

    We attended the Jesuit schools and we all had a play of Shakespeare to learn. My brother had Julius Caesar while I had Midsummer Night's Dream and Puck not the Canadian Hockey puck.

    It was torture for a nine or ten year old. Luckily we didn't have to recite passages.
    Last edited by oriental; 08-08-16 at 23:40.

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    A Conservative Christian congregation which still uses the King James version would be at home with this type of English.

    Though I am not religious I still remember that we all had to say this prayer before each meal.

    " Our Father who art in Heaven
    Hallowed be thy name
    Thy Kingdom come
    Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven
    Gives us this day our daily bread
    And forgive us our trespasses
    As we forgive them who trespass against us
    Deliver us from evil.

    Amen."

    The Lord's Prayer
    (traditional)




    Our Father, which art in heaven,
    Hallowed be thy Name.
    Thy Kingdom come.
    Thy will be done in earth,
    As it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    As we forgive them that trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from evil.
    For thine is the kingdom,
    The power, and the glory,
    For ever and ever.
    Amen.
    We skipped this part

    For thine is the kingdom,
    The power, and the glory,
    For ever and ever.
    This was generic prayer that did NOT offend other religions. However, we were all kids and very vulnerable and just followed the rules.
    Last edited by oriental; 10-08-16 at 05:22.

  20. #20
    Elite member Fire Haired14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oriental View Post

    This was generic prayer that did offend other religions. However, we were all kids and very vulnerable and just followed the rules.
    Proclaiming what you believe which is not the same as other religions isn't offensive. Thinking, that dis agreement=dis respect and offensiveness, is a bad mindset to have in all parts of life.

  21. #21
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    Oops typo: Missed typing NOT.

    There is no reference to any god nor a name mentioned. No parent has objected to this as far as I know. It just says a Father in Heaven. I think a lot of religions refer to their god or ancestor as father.

  22. #22
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Well, I'm glad to see I wasn't so far off.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL0--f89Qds

    The person being interviewed is the author of "Dialect Diversity in America: The Politics of Language Change".

    It's a google book; I'm going to have to skim some of it:
    The "standard" American that used to be taught to newscasters, for example, I place in Nebraska, and he places it in Iowa. They're right next door. He speaks pretty "standard" American himself.

    The "standard" American that used to be taught to newscasters, for example, I placed in Nebraska, and he places it in Iowa. They're right next door. He speaks pretty "standard" American himself.

    As I also said, education modifies local dialects.

    My personal experience exactly duplicates what he says: "On Madison Avenue in New York, the best thing is not to sound like a New Yorker". (I'm paraphrasing here.) That's how I got my first job.

    Just recently I heard an English actor being interviewed about "doing" American accents who said that he actually didn't find the Tennessee/Kentucky accent all that different from his own regional English accent, and so he found it relatively easy to do. I had said much the same thing. I have to see if I can find that video.

    I should e-mail the professor. The interviewer isn't doing a great job of duplicating those particular sounds. What sounds strange to the interviewer in his colleague's speech is somewhat typical of the western Massachusetts area (where they indeed don't speak with a Boston accent) along with the adjacent areas of upstate New York. It does have some Canadian influence from what I can tell.

    This is the map to which he keeps referring:
    http://thumbs.mic.com/MjgwMTVjMzU1MC...ZmIxLmpwZw.jpg

    This is an online test of which brand of American English you speak. It tells me I'm from Connecticut, which is pretty darn close.
    http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_america...nt_do_you_have

    Here's another one; again, it said New England, so that's pretty close.
    http://www.playbuzz.com/benjaminbire...-actually-have

    This one says heavy general American accent. Well, that's what I aimed for...
    http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/...d=NTI4NzE2MzQ=

    This New York Times one uses a lot of phrases, not just pronunciation. It's interesting because it shows you where your usage is most common.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...-quiz-map.html

    This is my dialect "map". They got me as far as dialect, but not really as far as accent. I think Connecticut is closer than upstate New York nowadays.
    My Dialect map-New York Times.jpg

  23. #23
    Elite member Fire Haired14's Avatar
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    Interesting links Angela. The survey questions are from Harvard linguistics according to New York Times. I wish someone could collect results from 1,000s of people from all over the country that'd be interesting. Most gave me Northern Central which isn't far off. However, I've heard North Central and Canadian accents and I know I don't have it.

    Something I want to learn about American accents is why the Chicago and New York accents are similar. I've been told some rural MidWest accents, like in Indiana, are similar as well. The Chicago accent is a real thing but few Chicagoans actually have it and the ones who do have it are always at least in their 40s. I've never meet a millennial with a Chicago accent, but I have heard some with slight Chicago accents and they always have parents with strong Chicago accents. People I've known who have it are what I'd call old Chicagoans. What I mean by old Chicagoan, is a blue collar person who's a descendant of the major immigrant groups to Chicago 100+ years ago. It might be a South Side thing(oldest part of Chicago, industrial blue collar part), which could be why I've heard it so few times. I've heard people of all ethnic backgrounds with it; Irish, German, Polish, Italian.

  24. #24
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Fire Haired, I think the professor gives a hint as to why there is a similarity between the area around the Great Lakes, including Chicago, and the northeast, including New York, when he explains that it was people from New England and the Atlantic states who settled that area. The New York Times test is a little misleading because it's based partly on vocabulary, and even then my "heat" map shows that after the Northeast and the Middle Atlantic states, my "dialect" is closest to that of Chicago and the other western Great Lakes states. In terms strictly of the accent, except for the fact that I don't have that flat "a" that he describes, I sound like a midwesterner. People in Buffalo and even all the way to Syracuse do have it, however.

    One of the great "highways" along which people traveled to reach the new lands in the midwest was the Erie Canal, which went all the way across New York state. You learned this in American history, right?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Canal

    "The canal's opening ignited the first great western migration. Thousands of settlers
    skirted the natural barrier of the Allegheny Mountains and moved to the fertile lands of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and beyond. Soon, canal boats were hauling the agricultural bounty (particularly wheat) of the new Frontier along the canal to mills in the East. The same boats made the return trip laden with finished goods for eager customers in the West.This lucrative trade made New York City America's busiest port and a commercial powerhouse. The Canal remained America's major commercial highway for some 50 years until it was eclipsed by the railroads."http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/eriecanal.htm

    People from the Mid-Atlantic states took the Hudson River north to connect to it, and northern New Englanders took the Champlain Canal to reach it. You can see it here.



    This is the journey someone's ancestors took:
    http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/ko...483_n.jpg.html

    The professor is right about something else: children don't always or even often have their parents' accent. If they did, I'd be speaking English with an Italian accent. That isn't to say that you can't try and even succeed, to some extent, to make them sound like you. My kids don't have a standard New York City accent, because I was constantly correcting their accent, that and their grammar. If you're relentless, it does work. :)

  25. #25
    Elite member Fire Haired14's Avatar
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    That makes sense. This guy does a good "MidWest" accent. I've heard it in Chicago, but I've also heard accents more similar to a New York accent.

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