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#113499 - 10/12/03 10:12 PM Language variations
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
A friend had asked about terms of formal address, and in seeking info. on that, I came across this site.
http://www.hku.hk/english/course/sociolectures.htm With a bit of fiddling with the address, I found to my surprise that it comes from the University of Hong Kong. (Which went a long way toward explaining why some of the comparisons jump from American to British to Hong Kong English. Only.) Anyway, I felt a jab of familiarity reading
British and General American:

I might be able to go.

Maybe I should go.

Appalachian:

I might could go. / I might can go.

I might should go. / I might ought to go.


There are a bunch of other comparisons, including some Navy jargon that might strike a chord with you, Dr. Bill, John Hawaii, and wow.



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#113500 - 10/13/03 08:32 AM Re: Language variations
slithy toves Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 320
Loc: Sarasota, Florida, US
Interesting site, Jackie. I took a few linguistics courses way back when, and this site covers much the same ground that I recall from the old days. I still have some reservations about assertions such as:

From a linguistic point of view, there is no basis for saying that one dialect is more correct than another, just as there is no basis for saying that one language is more correct than another. All dialects are equally systematic, but they just have somewhat different systems.

I suppose the opening phrase is meant to soften what follows. I'm something of a stick-in-the-mud about all this acceptance of what I see as substandard usage. It may be that prescriptive is out and descriptive is in, but--as I used to tell my students--make sure you learn the "correct" forms just in case you ever decide to apply for a job.







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#113501 - 10/13/03 08:47 AM Re: Language variations
Alex Williams Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
Dingo's breakfast: a yawn, a leak and a good look round (i.e. no breakfast)

I found this Australian slang particularly funny because the definition itself has a nice, alliterative rhythm to it.


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#113502 - 10/13/03 08:53 AM Re: Language variations
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
something of a stick-in-the-mud about all this acceptance of what I see as substandard usage.

Someone at TVR once made the analogy of language use to shoes worn at a job interview. If you're interviewing for a job as CEO of Continental Draugsvold you're not going to score any points in a pair of oil-stained work boots. On the other hand, if you're looking for a job as rigger on an off-shore oil rig you're not likely to get much of a chance if you show up in a pair of $500 Guccis.


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#113503 - 10/13/03 09:10 AM Re: Language variations
dodyskin Offline
addict

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 475
Loc: manchester uk
British English

?

[rant]Fries and chips are not interchangeable words, fries are a completely different thing. Chips are thick as your thumb, deep fried in ( preferably) dripping and served with peas and gravy. Fries are those things you get in M$%#*$!s.[/rant]



sorry


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#113504 - 10/13/03 08:40 PM Re: Language variations
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Ah, yes; I am still astounded by the thought of a "vision" I had last June: a man walking along, casually eating a chip butty. [barf]


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#113505 - 10/14/03 12:57 AM Re: Language variations
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
And what caused such a degree of astonishment as to lead to barfing? The fact that he was walking and eating at the same time or the fact that he was doing so casually? Is walking and eating at the same time only undertaken with great seriousness in the US, as befits the difficulty of a task which only the select few can manage?

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#113506 - 10/14/03 04:03 AM Walking and eating
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Outside of New York City, nobody walks. Inside of New York City, everybody walks and eats.

What's a chip butty?


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#113507 - 10/14/03 04:41 AM Re: Walking and eating
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Chips placed between two slices of bread to make a sandwich. One of the North of England's contributions to world cuisine.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#113508 - 10/14/03 05:08 AM Re: Language variations
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
I was somewhat surprised to find among the examples:

past perfect 'already'

British:

They've already eaten.

Surely this is the present perfect not the past perfect.

Under complementation he says:

British:

He appeared tired

He appeared a complete idiot.

General American:

He appeared tired

He appeared to be a complete idiot.


Perhaps I'm going to appear a complete idiot here, but to me "He appeared a complete idiot" and "He appeared to be a complete idiot" mean different things.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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