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(Slate)   A look at why certain regions have developed incorrect dialects that allow them to say words with unstressed syllables, like "Probly"   (slate.com) divider line 15
    More: Sick, stressed syllable, English Words, forms, Ly the Fairy  
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12350 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Apr 2014 at 6:28 PM (23 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-04-06 05:44:26 PM
3 votes:
You mean 'prolly'?

You deserve a kick in the nuts for that one.
2014-04-06 09:06:34 PM
2 votes:

divgradcurl: hubiestubert: What's fun, is that in the future, folks will look at these words and wonder, "Why in chocolate covered f*ck is it spelled like that when it's pronounced like this?"

Yes, I'm looking at you "knight" and "thought" and "knead" and let us not speak of what the French and the folks who lurve to Latinate the language have done to our spelling habits...

the silent k helps distinguish those words from synonyms. what is your problem with 'thought'?

if you want it to be spelled 'thawt', i must insist upon calling you a 13 year old girl (which should be belittling to a man of your age and intelligence)


Actually, I was pointing out that the language has changed a fair amount over the years--absorption of the Anglo-Saxons and a attempt to represent the native pronunciations with a Romanticized alphabet, despite its Germanic origins--not to mention the Great Vowel Shift, and couple that with mass printing which meant that publishers were documenting their own dialects and spellings--as opposed to individual scribes which was far more the case, where spelling was concerned--began to lock down what was "proper" English.

The /k/ in /kn/ words WAS pronounced at one point. Was was /w/ in /wr/ words, and even the /g/ in "gnaw" and "gnat." Middle English was much closer to those Germanic roots, as The Canterbury Tales illustrates, and Chaucer's work was one of the major pieces of English literature, in that it embraced English with such verve and vigor, as well as embrasure of vernacular. As printing began to replace scribes, there was more emphasis on "proper" spelling, and that was a tool for promoting dialects of English as opposed to the local. Spelling in English was far more free form in the days of Middle English, and with the arrival of the printing press, we not only saw information disseminated to the masses, but likewise a promotion of dialects as a means of power projection. In many ways, the printing press helped promote not just a slowing of the evolution of the tongue--English as a trade tongue is remarkably versatile in its absorption of loan words from a variety of sources--it likewise promoted the use of particular dialects to entrench power structures. This evolution is further slowing, now that we have the technology to record the language not just in print, but with sound. What is "proper" English is not just a matter of local dialect promotion, but now we can seal the deal with recording. American English departed from British by the promotion of American dictionaries and grammars, as a means of power projection, and now we have very much a further entrenchment of class structures by recording what is "proper" English in popular entertainment. This doesn't stop local dialects' use by any means--as anyone in the South, South West, or even here deep in Yankeeland can attest to, even in just the differences in Boston alone, let alone what happens Down East in Maine to the tongue--but it does slow the  diffusion of these changes to the language as a whole.

English is an amazingly dynamic language--owing to its roots as a trade language. It continues to absorb words at an amazing rate, and even those loan words are twisted up by the internal logic of pronunciation and spelling. Its often confusing set of internal rules are dictated by this bastard fusion of a Germanic tongue, with Latinates like French--and yes the original Latin thanks to the influence of those pesky Romans and the Mother Church--and the deep roots of the languages that the Germanic foundation encountered upon the British Isles as raiders settled upon its green and pleasant shores.

I think that you misapprehend my comment, as I do have that pesky Language Arts degree, and an appreciation for the language as a wild and wooly sort of barreling, rollicking monster of a tongue. It has changed over the long years, and those changes have resulted from the infusion of peoples into the Isles, rubbing up against one another, and diffusing those changes as populations mixed and influenced one another. As a tongue, it is a brilliant mix of influences, both low and high, and dynamic in its ability to retain essential structures, while integrating those influences at a very basic level. It's still a difficult language to master, because the internal rules are NOT just of a Germanic language, but a fusion of several language families, and it is voracious in its ability to incorporate new words at a ferocious rate.
2014-04-06 07:19:50 PM
2 votes:

ko_kyi: It is mostly hubris to think that there are "incorrect" dialects.  Whatever gets your meaning across most effectively is correct.

Language has always been used to define social class, but whatever language and dialect anyone speaks, there is someone somewhere who looks down on you for it.


And if I can't understand someone's slab-tongued backwoods gabbling, they're not getting their meaning across effectively.
2014-04-06 06:34:36 PM
2 votes:
Just be sure to recycle your aluminium.
2014-04-07 02:08:35 AM
1 votes:

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: I still believe that the English language needs a passive-form informal collective pronoun. I nominate "y'all" because I use it.

You for the singular. Y'all for the collective.


"You" is plural.

It's the singular we lost (thou).
2014-04-06 09:49:19 PM
1 votes:

lindalouwho: divgradcurl: hubiestubert: What's fun, is that in the future, folks will look at these words and wonder, "Why in chocolate covered f*ck is it spelled like that when it's pronounced like this?"

Yes, I'm looking at you "knight" and "thought" and "knead" and let us not speak of what the French and the folks who lurve to Latinate the language have done to our spelling habits...

the silent k helps distinguish those words from synonyms. what is your problem with 'thought'?

if you want it to be spelled 'thawt', i must insist upon calling you a 13 year old girl (which should be belittling to a man of your age and intelligence)

I've never been bothered by thought.
Yet I despise though. I was a secret anal grammar, puctuation nazi most of my life, but mostly only beat myself for being wrong. I was tramatized daily for a few yrs with texting. Could not abbreviate. It was wrong, and I know how to spell (usually). Some how I mellowed...year ago let a transposed set of letters be free, knowngly. It wasn't til commenting on fark that I went wild and deposed of though forever. First few times I did it from a foxhole, waiting for the attack. Fark em now THO ;-)


When I was in school I had a professor who very much changed my view of the language. Jay Hoar was the first living professor to have a building named after him at the University of Maine at Farmington. He attended the school as an undergrad for teaching, and returned to teach English education, and had been there about fifty years by the time I rolled in. Each year for Linguistics, he gave one lecture that summed up the power of the language. "Ain't is a Beautiful Word."

The ability of the language to preserve the poetry of Chaucer and Shakespeare and Donne, as well as the travelogues of Melville and the adventure tales of Burroughs and the Beat Poets as well as The Sugarhill Gang, that is the power of English. It's not just for high tone literature, it's a language that sees firm use. It has dialects that are sturdy structures, that are burly and useful, and what is amazing about the language, is that folks can internally switch from Maine Skiddah Tahk, to commenting on UMaine Black Bears, or giving tourists intelligible directions, and each iteration sees a slightly differing use of vernacular and dialect. Sometimes that can be used to freeze folks from "Away" out entirely, or it can be a warm embrasure of the comforts of home and hearth, and then switch again to an entirely professional conversation that tones down the dialect for clearness and mutual intelligibility. Jay loved the language, in all its iterations, and its robustness as a tongue, not just for art, for technical use, but for use all around. That lecture he gave every year changed how I viewed the language as a whole. What is "proper English" changes. All the time. "Proper" depends on the audience. Depends on the context. It is an amazingly robust language in that its dialects and forms fit their use. As much as I love my mother's Nihongo, it isn't as versatile a language as English. Structurally, Nihongo is far more elegant, and its internal logic is sound, and beautiful, but it is often clumsy at integrating new words and structures. Wonderful for social contexts, with gradations of forms for a multitude of interactions, and yet English is a far better language for business. English is at home both in a bar and a salon, in a teahouse, at a wharf, a hospital, a gas station, at a symphony, at a game, and yes, it's all cockamamie with languages its absorbed bits from, but still, in maintains an internal logic, from Kingston to Bangor to London to Kuala Lumpur.

English can stand a lot of use. Texting is use. Rap is use. Dialects are all about use. English is a language that works damn hard, because it's not just about high art and law and philosophy, it's a language for fishermen, for ranchers, for science, for cooks, for doctors, for clerks, and that we can switch up and see the beauty in the tongue in all these varied dialects and usages, that's a real gift.
2014-04-06 07:55:15 PM
1 votes:
People trying to be all cute saying words like "presh" and "delish" make me want to stab myself in the ears.
2014-04-06 07:46:57 PM
1 votes:
Lame.  Only uptight ass-douches and English majors care about this.  English is a mutable language. Feckin' deal with it.

/English majors are useful if they bring me my Starbucks.
2014-04-06 07:35:37 PM
1 votes:

FizixJunkee: fusillade762: Do You Ever Say Probly Instead of Probably? Here's Why.

Probly because I was drunk.

I'm absolutely certain I've never said "probly" ever in my life. "Probly" just makes you sound lazy and/or uneducated.  Sort of like the people who pronounce "picture" the same way as "pitcher."


The one that gets me like fingernails on a blackboard is "I seen".
2014-04-06 07:25:03 PM
1 votes:
Probly isn't a word.  The correct pronunciation, with all syllables, is "prolly"

Next up:  The vanishing 'T'

Mou'ains.  Ki'ens.  Isaac New'on.
2014-04-06 07:11:45 PM
1 votes:
I still believe that the English language needs a passive-form informal collective pronoun. I nominate "y'all" because I use it.

You for the singular. Y'all for the collective.
2014-04-06 06:42:57 PM
1 votes:
Wow,  Subby,you managed to fark up every aspect of that headline. Good work!
2014-04-06 06:41:22 PM
1 votes:
It is mostly hubris to think that there are "incorrect" dialects.  Whatever gets your meaning across most effectively is correct.

Language has always been used to define social class, but whatever language and dialect anyone speaks, there is someone somewhere who looks down on you for it.
2014-04-06 05:48:53 PM
1 votes:
What's fun, is that in the future, folks will look at these words and wonder, "Why in chocolate covered f*ck is it spelled like that when it's pronounced like this?"

Yes, I'm looking at you "knight" and "thought" and "knead" and let us not speak of what the French and the folks who lurve to Latinate the language have done to our spelling habits...
2014-04-06 05:20:59 PM
1 votes:
Other examples of modern pronunciations that came from haplology are pacifist, which used to be pacificist; and humbly, which used to be humblely.

Now if we could just get people to stop saying/typing "orientate".
 
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