Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1993 19:10:32 -0500
From: ALICE FABER FABER%LENNY[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VENUS.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Re: ADS-L Digest - 1 Dec 1993 to 2 Dec 1993
Am I the only one here who's noticed that the New York Times isn't exactly
accentless? It uses such words as "stringbeans" rather than "green
beans". And it uses Yiddish words such as "chotchkes" without bothering
to translate them.
Dan Goodman dsg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]maroon.tc.umn.edu
Of course the NY Times uses expressions that aren't stereotypical of current
NY speech. The whole point of most of our objections to the Times article on
NY dialects was that they erroneously treated loss of stereotypical NY
features as equivalent to loss of a distinctly NY dialect. I suspect the
dialect features most people are aware of are stereotypical. After years
living into the south, I somehow acquired a lexical distinction between bags
and sacks: the brown paper things in the grocery store are sacks, and the
plastic things with handles are bags. I have maintained this distinction after
moving back to the Northeast 6 years ago. It's very rare that a clerk comments
on my use of sack in this context, although this is clearly a bag area.
With regard to Yiddish, funny you should mention this. Today's NY Times has an
article on the law page based on a paper in Yale Law Review about the use of
Yiddish terms in legal decisions. The earliest citation they could find for
chutzpa was from Georgia in the early 70's, applied to an individual who broke
into a sheriff's office to steal guns! In the Times article, brief glosses are
provided for chutzpa, tsoris 'trouble', etc.