Accents (was: experience)
- --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <jpklists@s...> wrote:
> I should have said MY American ears.In which case, 'American' is pretty redundant (as one rarely says
things like 'excuse me, I just have to go and wash my American hands')
and we are left with 'my'. Sometimes when you say 'American' you mean
'American' and other times you mean 'my'. If you could signal the
difference with quotes or asterisks or something it might help. :-)
> It's asSo class comes into it quite a lot?
> irritating to me as when a suburban white boy tries to talk like a
> black ghetto thug and fails at it.
I would like to speak like a New Yorker but I'll probably never be
very convincing. Is that irritating too when a Brit tries to adopt an
- Now I have a moment, here are some things I've been meaning to say:
--- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, James Kirchner <jpklists@s...> wrote:
>California is called by many "The Land
of Fruits and Nuts", or "the world's biggest state hospital".
I've met this stereotype often enough. Don't know if we have an
equivalent. Brighton, maybe? No, Islington. (Or am I hopelessly out of
> One girl came back on
visit and had a 2-year-old boy named Sailor.
Actually, American first names often sound rather innovative to me (or
they sound like British surnames). Anyway, in later life he can always
change it quickly, can't he? No big deal :-). Maybe people see names
more like disposable wrappers over there. I remember my Jamaican
friends were allowed to choose whether or not to keep their Christian
name when they were seven years old. And if they didn't like it they
got to choose their own. Not a bad idea IMHO.
When I worked for the Inland Revenue they always used to tell us that
it is every Britisher's birthright to change his/her name to Attila
the Hun for a fiver, should he/she so desire.
I remember seeing a news item here about a certain poor Mr Slapka who
wanted to change his surname. The officials in charge wouldn't have it
- you know, can't have everybody changing their name at the drop of a
hat. Besides, they said, it's not such a terrible name.
Things might have gotten easier for the Slapkas of this world since
then - I don't know.
> or it's possible he's [Bush]
just one of those people who don't talk that well no matter what
dialect he's speaking.
My impression is that he just lets himself go because many people
actually identify with and/or admire and respect that unstructured way
of speaking. It's a kind of very large "Hey, I'm not pompous" badge.
>If I talk to a Canadian for 10 minutes, I am speaking with most of
Is it true they often say 'hey' over there? Never noticed it, myself.
>If you speak RP well enough to get hired as a butler, then you should
go for a much better job. You could work as an Evil Genius,
And they all said I was MAD, ha-HAH! Actually, I'd prefer to keep that
as my little hobby.
I noticed that noble Legolas spoke RP in the Lord of the Rings. In
sharp contrast to those horrid orcs, who all sounded like extras from
Eastenders hamming it up.
> Same thing in films like "Shakespeare in Love", where all
the characters are speaking RP, even though historically they
couldn't have been.
The Brummie dialect is variously labeled as the worst, ugliest and
laziest regional accent in the UK. Yet most foreigners find it easy on
the ear and researchers say that it is very likely that William
Shakespeare's accent was not very different.
Actually, I'm not sure about that, but I quote it as a curiosity.
Brummies often end their sentences with a kind of rising intonation -
try it: to be or not to be...
> she would switch to a
throaty RP, and everyone -- even her superiors -- would cower beneath
her gravity. No one felt intelligent enough to dispute anything she
said in RP,
Don't think it would have that effect on many people in Britain these
days. You can lay on the gravitas in the regional variant(s) of your
choosing these days IMHO.
BTW listen to the BBC World Service news and see how many such
varieties of English you can detect over a few days.
> Conversely, Da Breetish Inklish is a problem the Europeans
caused all by themselves, and they deserve the blame.
You run "Breetish Inklish" through Google and see whose problem it is.
But Master Spy....
Shuddup Friend Zarin...
>and Fireball XL5,
A whole generation of British schoolkids launched their pencils along
imaginary Fireball XL5-style ramps.
>which were similar, but the
characters spoke American on this side of the ocean.
I should hope so too. We had the Beverley Hillbillies, Top Cat,
Snagglepuss and Huckleberry Hound all with original American English
accents. So at the age of seven we could get up our parents' and
teachers' noses by saying we were fixin on doing (fixin to do?) sometin:
>I think British
kids' shows are often dubbed here, if they aren't completely remade.
Pity. They should try to think of BrEng as an enriching
Even Harry Potter? No!
Na ad i'th dafod dorri'th wddf
Let not your tongue cut your throat
- Welsh proverb