Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 14:36:38 -0500

From: "(Dale F. Coye)" Dfcoye[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM

Subject: Lippi-Green's Eng with an Accent

I'm reading Rosina Lippi-Green's new book, English with an Accent, with great

interest. Lots of good stuff here, but I had to pause in the section where

she analyzes the Disney feature-length cartoons. I have no quarrel with the

basic point that stereotyping in some cases reinforces negative stereotypes

that we should all be working against. But I can't help thinking - so what

does this mean?-- are we aiming for a society without any stereotypes at all?

or one where we recognize that it's a human trait to stereotype and we

should simply be aware of it. Should we protest when French accented

characters are used for coquettes and lotharios (her example, Lumiere in

Beauty and the Beast- we could add Mel Blanc's skunk Pepi la Pyoo) or can we

just have a laugh at the same time acknowledging that not all Frenchmen are

like that? And by the way, I think the RP speakers get the meanest parts in

Disney these days: Jaffar in Aladdin, Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, Scar in

The Lion King are the RP arch-villains. Note also two errors: She refers to

Jock in the Lady and the Tramp p. 96 as a lower class 'rough lover,' where

she means the Tramp himself (Jock is the Scotch Terrier- what accent should

he have if not Scottish?) and she quotes Herman and Herman's actors' guide to

dialects (which is a pretty good volume by the way, despite the stereotyping)

"it can be said of the French...that when they are good, they are very, very

good-- but when they are bad, they are-- Apaches." p. 98, as an instance of

racism- referring to the Native American tribe in a negative way. An Apache

(ah PAHSH) is a street tough of Paris (who could forget Bluto and Olive Oyl's

Apache Dance, since we're on the subject of cartoons).

Dale Coye

Dept. of English

The College of New Jersey