End of ADS-L Digest - 15 Nov 1997 to 16 Nov 1997 ************************************************ Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 00:00:16 -0500 There are 15 messages totalling 464 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. "Regionalisms", ADS in today's NY Times 2. Double Negatives 3. Posts from non-professionals (2) 4. "Reply to list or sender" query (2) 5. double negatives and other prescriptions 6. one as a pronoun? 7. The full Monty (fwd) 8. Double negatives (was one as a pronoun?) (2) 9. subscribe to ADS-L mailing list 10. Welcome Back, Barry! 11. subcategories of people 12. stay and live ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 00:51:18 -0500 From: "Barry A. Popik" Subject: "Regionalisms", ADS in today's NY Times This is from the Week in Review Section, The New York Times, 16 November 1997, pg. 7: WORD FOR WORD/ Regionalisms In Plainspoken English, America's Still Whopperjawed Ask any computer expert trying to design workable voice-recognition technology for standard American English: Despite predictions that Americans would all be speaking by now in a bland, homogenized dialect of network TV newscasters, the United States remains a country of stubbornly persistent regional accents, idioms and slang. "Regional differences in pronunciation remain, as do differences based on social class, occupation, ethnic group, gender," says Allan Metcalf, a professor at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill', and the executive director of the American Dialect Society. (Shouldn't that be "executive secretary"? Ah, it's the Times! Allan will be "THE executive director" of the ADS forever!--ed.) "That's because if people have to choose between talking like the TV and talking like their friends, they'll choose their friends (or be laughed at by them.)" Near Philadelphia, Michael Lawrence Ellis III, an amateur linguist fascinated by accents and regionalisms, publishes a series of regional handbooks under the title "Slanguistics," and maintains a popular web site (www.slanguage.com) that collects regional pronunciations and phrases from correspondents all across the country. Here are some recent ones (syllable inflections were not provided). JOE SHARKEY Atlanta Ahm feelin' puny (I don't feel well) Fizzshoe (If I were you...) Mash the button (Press the button) Tick a rat (Make a right turn) Warshin' patter (Laundry detergent) Austin, Tex. You sure clean up nice (You are looking very good today) Baltimore Ball Mer Orals (The local baseball team) Chest Peek (The large bay) (...) Chicago Cheek Ah Ga (Name of city) (...) Dallas All y'all (A collective plural of y'all) (...) Knoxville, Tenn. Air (What 60 minutes equals one of) You-uns (Y'all, Tennessee style) (....) This article brings up several old saws I have with the American Dialect Society and The New York Times. A Michael Ellis of Southwest Missouri State University is an ADS member; this Michael Lawrence Ellis III is not. Why isn't a person like this a member? Are the $35 dues too high? Would he become a member at $20? Has he heard of us? I keep saying--over and over--that 517 members is too small. And I keep saying--over and over--that the ADS needs to treat popular speech, that we need to have an online magazine (maybe called AMERICAN POPULAR SPEECH, and maybe with the American Name Society joining in) that would cover movies, television, books, plays, and current news events in a scholarly and reliable way, for consumption by the general public. As for The New York Times, it's notable that they give large space to nonscholarly work (who ever heard of a pronunciation guide without the proper pronunciation symbols?), while ignoring legitimate ADS scholars. When's the last time they picked up on something from American Speech? "If news does not appear in The New York Times, it really hasn't happened."--ADS member William Safire in the same section, page 15, col. 3. Why doesn't this guy write back to an ADS member who writes to him? Do I have to wait six years? Is he happy that it's making me ill?