Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1993 19:10:32 -0500


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]

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.

Alice Faber