Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 15:55:36 -0500

From: Herb Stahlke hstahlke[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GW.BSU.EDU

Subject: Lippi-Green's Eng with an Accent -Reply

I have assigned EwaA to my English linguistics

class this term as required reading. I have

never, in thirty years of college teaching, seen

to passionate a response to a book. These

students, largely white middleclass

midwesterners from small towns, find each

chapter an eye-opener in new ways. And the

reactions, the chagrin, the outrage, cut across

the political spectrum. There is also

disagreement with her, which is good to see.

They're engaging another mind in a way that I

have found rare.

Herb Stahlke


11/23/97 02:36pm

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


Dale Coye

Dept. of English

The College of New Jersey