Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 15:37:42 -0500

From: Ellen Johnson ellenj[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ATLAS.UGA.EDU

Subject: Re: TV and dialect diversity

From Hans Kurath's *Word Geography of the Eastern United States* (Ann

Arbor: U. MI Pr. 1949), p. 9

Status: R

[the "common man" is considered intermediate betw. folk speech (local)

and cultivated speech (regional, supraregional, or national)]

The common man reads little besides the daily newspaper, a

popular periodical or two, and perhaps a trade journal. He may read a

novel now and then, but hte smattering of thelanguage of the great

masters of the past that he gets in high school is soon forgotten. His

language habits are hardly touched by the literary language.

In recent years he hears a Babel of dialects over the radio and

in the movies. He understands them, may even mimic them, but he does not

acquire them. He will of course adopt a fashionable word here and there

or learn the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word from his favorite announcer.

...But the speech of the large middle class has hardly been

touched by trained linguists despite a lively popular interest in this


See also Jack Chambers article in Preston's collection for the ADS

(*American Dialect Research*)

Ellen Johnson