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(Mental Floss)   When did Americans lose their British accents? Or shouldn't it be the other way 'round?   (mentalfloss.com) divider line 197
    More: Interesting, British English, Americans, outer banks, American accents, Southeastern United States  
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16420 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Apr 2013 at 3:53 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-27 11:40:53 AM  
Like everything else that is wrong with this country, I blame the Irish.
 
2013-04-27 11:47:59 AM  
I am more curious as to how many young American males learned to emulate the English accent via extensive viewing of Monty Python on PBS.


/I'm one
 
2013-04-27 11:59:22 AM  
FTA: Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.


I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles.  Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania.   He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct:  The rose bush needs pruned.   I said yes.  The class laughed and said no.  He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have.  Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason.   LOL.   I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing.  Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.
 
2013-04-27 12:04:12 PM  
TONIGHT....

....A hippo blames the Irish....

....A poet expresses his curiosity....

i344.photobucket.com

....And I post a picture with Morse code in the background.
 
2013-04-27 12:05:38 PM  

Ennuipoet: I am more curious as to how many young American males learned to emulate the English accent via extensive viewing of Monty Python on PBS.


/I'm one


Same here. I got plum reading parts for Shakespeare plays in high school because I did the accents so well. That was due to years of memorizing Monty Python sketches.
 
2013-04-27 12:11:52 PM  

Nabb1: That was due to years of memorizing Monty Python sketches.


I was able to do several of Python's often used regional accents.  When I went to England as an adult I never fooled anyone but people were slightly impressed I knew there WERE different accents beyond Cockney.
 
2013-04-27 12:15:46 PM  

raerae1980: FTA: Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.


I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles.  Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania.   He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct:  The rose bush needs pruned.   I said yes.  The class laughed and said no.  He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have.  Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason.   LOL.   I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing.  Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.


I accidentally live in Cleveland for a while.

The assclowns in North Eastern Ohio do this too.
 
2013-04-27 12:29:57 PM  

raerae1980: FTA: Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.


I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles.  Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania.   He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct:  The rose bush needs pruned.   I said yes.  The class laughed and said no.  He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have.  Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason.   LOL.   I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing.  Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.


Well either 'to be' or the gerund of "pruned".
 
2013-04-27 12:49:42 PM  
I have two tells in my speech: I say hahf and ahsehole. I also use both rowt and root depending on how route is being used in a sentence.

I've never had anyone guess where I (mostly) grew up just from the way I speak.
 
2013-04-27 12:56:17 PM  
 
2013-04-27 12:59:37 PM  
I think the Boston accent is pretty rhotic. I think the Brooklyn/Queens accent has a marked Dutch influence ("d" used in place of "th") but is otherwise non-rhotic. And Cajuns are just Cajuns.
 
2013-04-27 01:10:37 PM  
i105.photobucket.com
What a shibboleth might look like.
 
2013-04-27 01:12:56 PM  

simplicimus: I think the Boston accent is pretty rhotic. I think the Brooklyn/Queens accent has a marked Dutch influence ("d" used in place of "th") but is otherwise non-rhotic. And Cajuns are just Cajuns.


Boston is decidedly non-rhotic.
 
2013-04-27 01:17:42 PM  

ginandbacon: simplicimus: I think the Boston accent is pretty rhotic. I think the Brooklyn/Queens accent has a marked Dutch influence ("d" used in place of "th") but is otherwise non-rhotic. And Cajuns are just Cajuns.

Boston is decidedly non-rhotic.


My bad. I meant non-rhotic.
 
2013-04-27 01:19:27 PM  

Ennuipoet: I am more curious as to how many young American males learned to emulate the English accent via extensive viewing of Monty Python on PBS.


Never seen much Monty Python, but I'll say I absorb accents pretty quickly I've found.  Not sure why.  Half of my relatives live in Australia.  When they visit, they come in droves.  And its an expensive trip and a big deal for them, since its halfway across the world.  So, I'm basically submerged with all of them for a few weeks.  After they leave, I'll notice I'm then prone to speak many words/phrases in a slightly Aussie manner.
 
2013-04-27 01:21:48 PM  

simplicimus: And Cajuns are just Cajuns


Yep.  Love a cajun accent (moved down here in 2006, visit bayou country quite often).

Also yat speak, which is a strange New York style accent spoken in the parts outside New Orleans proper.

/There's not actually a New Orleans accent.  Any accents from down here are from surrounding parts.
//No one ever says "Nawlins"
 
2013-04-27 01:23:23 PM  

simplicimus: ginandbacon: simplicimus: I think the Boston accent is pretty rhotic. I think the Brooklyn/Queens accent has a marked Dutch influence ("d" used in place of "th") but is otherwise non-rhotic. And Cajuns are just Cajuns.

Boston is decidedly non-rhotic.

My bad. I meant non-rhotic.


Oh then yeah, absolutely.
 
2013-04-27 01:24:58 PM  
Ooooh lingustics thread!

Love these

Especially because I can biatch how much our language sucks.

What is the definition of an English person? An English person is one who lives in England but really wishes they lived in France.

Anyways, back on topic...

Am I the only one who notices some similarities in the Afrikaans accent and varieties of English? Maybe the accent in England has to do with the English people attempting to sound more like their forefathers by attempting to use German sounding accents.
 
2013-04-27 01:32:16 PM  

cman: Ooooh lingustics thread!

Love these

Especially because I can biatch how much our language sucks.

What is the definition of an English person? An English person is one who lives in England but really wishes they lived in France.

Anyways, back on topic...

Am I the only one who notices some similarities in the Afrikaans accent and varieties of English? Maybe the accent in England has to do with the English people attempting to sound more like their forefathers by attempting to use German sounding accents.


Afrikaaans, Australian, Kiwi and English English probably all sound the same to Americans, but not to each other.
/I am surprised how easily actors from those countries put on American accents, while American actors sound silly attempting the reverse.
 
2013-04-27 01:35:57 PM  

downstairs: simplicimus: And Cajuns are just Cajuns

Yep.  Love a cajun accent (moved down here in 2006, visit bayou country quite often).

Also yat speak, which is a strange New York style accent spoken in the parts outside New Orleans proper.

/There's not actually a New Orleans accent.  Any accents from down here are from surrounding parts.
//No one ever says "Nawlins"


A couple of hundred years ago, the Ursuline nuns opened two schools in the U.S. One in New Orleans and one in New York.
 
2013-04-27 01:35:59 PM  
Why do Aussies sound exactly like Brits then?
 
2013-04-27 01:41:34 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Why do Aussies sound exactly like Brits then?


They don't
 
2013-04-27 01:43:59 PM  

Nabb1: downstairs: simplicimus: And Cajuns are just Cajuns

Yep.  Love a cajun accent (moved down here in 2006, visit bayou country quite often).

Also yat speak, which is a strange New York style accent spoken in the parts outside New Orleans proper.

/There's not actually a New Orleans accent.  Any accents from down here are from surrounding parts.
//No one ever says "Nawlins"

A couple of hundred years ago, the Ursuline nuns opened two schools in the U.S. One in New Orleans and one in New York.


Huh.  So is that the explaination why yat speak is similar to the NYC accent?  I've never heard that... thanks, learn something new every day.  I've never heard an explaination before.
 
2013-04-27 01:46:34 PM  
cman: They don't

They sound like a Brit who doesn't move their lower jaw while they speak.
 
2013-04-27 01:54:27 PM  

raerae1980: FTA: Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.


I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles.  Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania.   He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct:  The rose bush needs pruned.   I said yes.  The class laughed and said no.  He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have.  Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason.   LOL.   I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing.  Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.


I grew up in Pittsburgh too, and fled, but certainly didn't get a Pittsburgh-ese accent from such upbringing (if you had it in my elementary school it was beaten out of you by the time you went through- but my parents were immigrants anyway, so I was in no danger).  So yeah, for me it's "needs pruning."

There are two things that still show where I'm from though- first that I didn't realize "jagger bush" wasn't a thing other people understood until I left, and the second is I pronounce "wolf" as just "woof" with a silent "L."  This has produced more amusement and hilarity amongst the people I know of in random situations than I care to repeat here.

/Go Steelers!
 
2013-04-27 02:02:53 PM  
There a few words left that identify my NYC upbringing. "Idear" as an "That's a good idear and the "s"" in Illinois.
 
2013-04-27 02:26:15 PM  

raerae1980: FTA: Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.


I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles.  Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania.   He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct:  The rose bush needs pruned.   I said yes.  The class laughed and said no.  He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have.  Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason.   LOL.   I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing.  Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.


I would be curious how he would find my speaking accent. When I learned English, I learned by using NPR and PBS announcers.
 
2013-04-27 02:34:04 PM  
The same reason our lawyers stopped wearing foppish wigs?
 
2013-04-27 03:05:51 PM  
I seem to remember someone writing that, in actuality, the accent that generally approximates the one which was in place in England when Shakespeare was alive is the affectation used by country singers.
 
2013-04-27 03:16:30 PM  
Helloooooooo.
 
2013-04-27 03:33:58 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: I seem to remember someone writing that, in actuality, the accent that generally approximates the one which was in place in England when Shakespeare was alive is the affectation used by country singers.



Well that makes sense.  After all, Shakespeare was drunk the day his mom got out of prison.
 
2013-04-27 03:49:58 PM  

simplicimus: cman: Ooooh lingustics thread!

Love these

Especially because I can biatch how much our language sucks.

What is the definition of an English person? An English person is one who lives in England but really wishes they lived in France.

Anyways, back on topic...

Am I the only one who notices some similarities in the Afrikaans accent and varieties of English? Maybe the accent in England has to do with the English people attempting to sound more like their forefathers by attempting to use German sounding accents.

Afrikaaans, Australian, Kiwi and English English probably all sound the same to Americans, but not to each other.
/I am surprised how easily actors from those countries put on American accents, while American actors sound silly attempting the reverse.


That's in part because elements of the"American" accent are still British, if not mixed ups bit, and in cases like a generalized Southern accent, simply slowed down.

We changed our grammar and spelling deliberately. Fairly early on with the onset of the Revolution we set out to distinguish "our" English as different.

Accents and dialects form as populations mix and drift, and as the ruling classes emulate and take on their own features to push themselves as distinct. The Boston Brahmin is very much an affectation that became entrenched and then entirely natural. Dying out now that television and radio give folks styles of speech to emulate, but in some ways, the advances in a standardized broadcaster midline is killing a lot of regional accents and putting a pinch on some regional dialects.

My old Linguistics professor had an amazing ear for accents and dialects. He could usually place someone with 25 miles of where they grew up, and where they'd travelled to in their youth. Jay Hoar is still an inspiration to me to this day.
 
2013-04-27 03:58:24 PM  
When they stopped boiling meat.
 
2013-04-27 04:01:27 PM  
I thought white 'merikuns sprang from the earth - like them freakishly large pumpkins ya see at the county fair.
 
2013-04-27 04:05:37 PM  
www.anecdote-du-jour.com
 
2013-04-27 04:05:38 PM  
What about Canuckistan?
 
2013-04-27 04:06:31 PM  
No need to be cockney about it, subs..
 
2013-04-27 04:07:13 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Why do Aussies sound exactly like Brits then?


The London East End accent and Australian accent are similar.  The Australian accent is a bit more nasal and sounds a little like they're speaking through a didgeridoo.
 
2013-04-27 04:07:35 PM  
 
2013-04-27 04:07:51 PM  
they never did in the rural south.
 
2013-04-27 04:08:41 PM  

CygnusDarius: When they stopped boiling meat.


My old chef was Irish, and he brought his whole family over for Thanksgiving. They had a few errands to run before getting dinner ready, and his Gran said she'd be fine starting things off. When they got back they discovered that the wee old lady had wrestled their ginormous turkey into one of Mick's biggest stock pots, and it was bubbling away merrily. Her defense? In her old lady brogue?

"It's a bird, you boil it!"

And for his first American Thanksgiving with his family, they had boiled turkey...
 
2013-04-27 04:10:36 PM  
The biggest difference between american and all other indo-european languages (from hindi, to german, to old english, to all latin) is the pronounciation of "a" in the word, seen easily in:   can't

All others say "ah", americans say it with the "ah" sound. The american way is downright uncivilized.
 
2013-04-27 04:10:48 PM  

raerae1980: FTA: Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.


I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles.  Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania.   He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct:  The rose bush needs pruned.   I said yes.  The class laughed and said no.  He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have.  Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason.   LOL.   I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing.  Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.


Yes, people from pit sound like the city-dwelling hillbillies they are. They sound just like the surrounding yokels from ohio and wv.
 
2013-04-27 04:10:52 PM  
DNRTFA, but the British are the ones that changed. The Georgia drawl is probably the closest thing you can get to the accent Shakespeare would have had. The British accent changed when they had to bring in a German king (of pretty strong British descent, but he was born and raised as a German, and who got the throne because pretty much every other claimant was Catholic), who didn't speak English, which had to be taught to him. The court elite pretty quickly shifted their accents to match, and things followed from there. But the colonies kept the accent, though it changed and developed in the colonies/States as well, with only areas under the influence of the planter class really retaining it.
 
2013-04-27 04:12:07 PM  

cptjeff: DNRTFA, but the British are the ones that changed..



Nope. British pronounce 'can't' in exactly the same way as for the past 1000 years.
 
2013-04-27 04:12:40 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Why do Aussies sound exactly like Brits then?


So they can translate into Canadian what a Merseysider may be saying.
 
2013-04-27 04:14:11 PM  

raerae1980: I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles. Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania. He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct: The rose bush needs pruned. I said yes. The class laughed and said no. He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have. Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason. LOL. I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing. Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.


I hate when people do this.  I don't know if they do this is Missouri as well, but my ex-wife's family said the same thing.  TO BE. DAMMIT! STOP BUTCHERING ENGLISH! IT'S ALREADY BUTCHERED ENOUGH IN THE DRIVE-THRU AT EL POLLO LOCO!

Anyways, because LA is full of transplants and undocumented individuals, people speak all sorts of interesting dialects of English(if it could be called a dialect).  Maddening to no end
 
2013-04-27 04:15:07 PM  

Somaticasual: No need to be cockney about it, subs..


i291.photobucket.com
 
2013-04-27 04:17:13 PM  

raerae1980: FTA: Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.


I'm from Pgh but live in Los Angeles.  Took a linguistics class and my professor was immediately able to tell I was from the Southwest part of Pennsylvania.   He asked me if I thought this sentence was correct:  The rose bush needs pruned.   I said yes.  The class laughed and said no.  He said it was both because of the regional dialect I have.   Yinzers eliminate the 'to be' in sentences for some reason.   LOL.   I found that interesting, and slightly embarrassing.  Other examples too but that stuck out in my head.


I have never heard anyone from PIttsburgh say "Yinzers". That is only used as a parody. "Yinz" is the correct form, as in "Yinz goin' dahntahn?".
If anyone wants to hear how to properly say "yinz" check out Pittsburgh Dad's videos on Youtube.
 
2013-04-27 04:18:07 PM  
My AP Gov class won a contest in our state that had us go compete in Washington DC for the national level. Each state had 1 team and each state was paired up with another state for the sightseeing and other tours we did during our stay. We (MO) were paired up with NC.

The NC folks gave us a lot of crap about our "accent". They poked fun at our tendency to drop the endings off of words (nothing = nothin', going = goin', etc). My debate partner at the time replied back that we did that so they would have enough letters to stick in the middle of their words (wash = warsh). They shut up about the whole accent thing for the rest of the trip.

/css
 
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