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#7588 - 10/11/00 12:25 PM Re: Speaking in sentences
maverick Offline
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Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
Shakespeare, the Bible, and Lewis Carroll: now there's a trinity


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#7589 - 10/11/00 12:40 PM Re: Speaking in sentences
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10524
Loc: this too shall pass
>Alot of the time, these delays are due to a desire to be concise

shanks, since we're returning to the subject of pet peeves (see elsewhere), this spelling of "a lot" is frequently mentioned as a pet peeve. it rarely appears in print, but is often found in the U.S. in informal writing and on Usenet. there does not seem to be a corresponding "alittle". HTH. :-)


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#7590 - 10/11/00 03:20 PM Re: Speaking in sentences
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
If I hear an accent I don't recognize, I usually ask the person where they're from, but with a slight questioning in my mind as to the propriety of it.

Shanks, may I ask what you mean by "the propriety" of an accent? In my rather simplistic grasp of the word, it suggests that could be an "improper" accent - an idea which is anathema to me. Here in NZ, RP was taught for years as the pinnacle of achievement in spoken English, the "proper" way to speak. This meant that many NZers were embarassed by their distinctive accent, and presumably left people like my father, with his Anglo-Indian accent, completely out in the cold.
While I consider myself old-fashioned in matters of usage, I refuse to accept the old orthodoxy that there is a "right" accent, and "wrong" ones. I think accents are a wonderful source of variety, to be embraced and cherished, not marked as "proper" and "improper." Here in the Antipodes, the difference between accents is a source of much debate between Australians and NZers - they say (to NZ ears) "Seeedneee", "sex"(6), and "feesh and cheeps", while we say (to Aussie ears) "Sudnee", "sux", and "fush and chups". NZ actors in Australia are told that they must lose their Kiwi accent to get work, as it is "improper". I hope that regional and national accents, however grating they seem to me, are able to survive and flourish, lest we all end up in hellish homogeneity. Salaam
p.s. May I say that, in checking the spelling of my "diversity is good" rant, I was simultaneously amused and horrified to see that Enigma suggested replacing "Kiwi" with "Klan"!


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#7591 - 10/11/00 04:41 PM Re: Speaking in sentences
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
If I hear an accent I don't recognize, I usually ask the person where they're from, but with a slight questioning in my mind as to the propriety of it.

Max,

I think you'll find that was Jackie replying to shanks. And I know Jackie is perfectly capable of replying for herself - as she has proved some 768 times (sorry Jackie!) - but I interpreted her expression to mean that she was questioning the propriety of her own question. In other words, is it politically correct to interrogate people about their origins because they sound different? Now, I am really intrigued to hear what Jackie had in mind.


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#7592 - 10/11/00 04:47 PM Re: propriety
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>but with a slight questioning in my mind as to the propriety of it

I read this comment differently. I think the propriety was in whether one should ask a personal question, some people prefer their privacy.

I often ask the question myself because I find it fascinating how someone can have lived in a different country or region for many years and still have held on to the accent they developed as a child. I have a chameleon accent, having moved around a lot at an early age and although I "could" get by in RP, as previously discussed, having lived in many areas of the country, it would feel completely wrong to say a word like Graaas or baaath in the style of the south of England.

I meet English people in Scotland who have lived here since they were very young and still sound English and others who made the trip in reverse and still sound Scottish. I can usually spot a Lancastrian or someone from Yorkshire to within a short distance of where they grew up.

I am surprised by how "Australian" the people who left the UK in adulthood sound - perhaps to real Australians they still sound very British. I wonder whether it is because the rhythm of Australian accents are quite "catchy". I think there is a similar phoenomenon in New Zealand.

When British pop and media stars try (as they used to) to sound American it always comes out as mid Atlantic and false. This could because their adopted accent is too unsubtle, instead of going for Boston or the deep South they go for "radio presenter from the mid West trying to sound like they come from New England", it is doomed to fail!

(Looks like I took so long to write this that Marty pipped me to the post!)

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#7593 - 10/11/00 05:38 PM Re: propriety
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
[gren]I read this comment differently. I think the propriety was in whether one should ask a personal question, some people prefer their privacy.

Tsuwm was kind enough to point out to me that I had probably misread shanks'(s?) comment. When I posted my rant, I had been up some 15 minutes, after a broken sleep that was far too short. I hope that shanks does not take my rant as a personal attack, which was never my intention. Mea culpa.



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#7594 - 10/11/00 05:48 PM Re: propriety
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
I am surprised by how "Australian" the people who left the UK in adulthood sound - perhaps to real Australians they still sound very British. I wonder whether it is because the rhythm of Australian accents are quite "catchy". I think there is a similar phoenomenon in New Zealand.

I am sure that you are right. I did not even notice my Dad's distinctive accent until I was in my late teens, by which time he had been away from his Raj-era boarding school for nearly forty years. I also knew a couple of octogenarians from Belfast whose speech, particularly when rapid, was still almost unintelligible to most NZers, even though I'm sure their familes back home would consider their accents greatly altered. It is apropos of nothing at all, really, but the sort of aural wilderness in which these migrated accents exist reminds me of my grnadparents' description of the late pre-teen years - too old for Mother Goose, too young for Lolita. I should probably add, that they said that twenty years ago! It just seemed to capture the "neither one thing nor t'other" quality of displaced accents.



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#7595 - 10/11/00 05:56 PM Go back to bed, Max! Re: Speaking in sentences
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
D'Oh! Thanks, Marty, I never even picked that up! I guess that one should learn to read before one attempts to participate in a forum such as this one. Definitely time for Max to make his quietus, before his ineptitude hits even more appalling depths. To Shanks, I extend my sincere apologies again, and to all, for now, tschau.


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#7596 - 10/11/00 08:35 PM Re: propriety
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Hi shanks. The folks around here seem to be quite happy about your return. I look forward to future posts.

To answer your initial question. I find a also talk in complete sentences most of the time. An exception to this is Sunday dinners at my parents' house, where 15 of us are sitting around the dinner table talking of this and that. In those circumstances you can be carrying on a conversation with a couple of people at the same time - putting your two-cents in, here and there. My sentences do not often meander but two consecutive sentences can be about two completely different subjects.

The only circumstance in which I dumb down my vocabulary and speak in 'duck speak' ( la 1984) is when talking to our v.p. at work. She gets very upset if I talk create full sentences and take up her valuable time (picture disgusted roll of the eyes here).

As to accents...a little <in> from me to all the gentlemen from across the pond...the ladies on our end can't tell one Englishman/Australian from an other based on their accents but they find them all sexy.

Hmmm, it's funny how an accent can seem so exotic when it comes from a different country yet so plain when it comes from your own.


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#7597 - 10/11/00 09:19 PM Re: propriety
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11610
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Well, this'll teach me to dare to go any place (she said,
slangily). From the horse's (dang-near left the s out!
Whew!) mouth: I meant that I questioned the propriety of
asking someone where they are from. I have a very intense
curiosity (must be on life # 6 or 7, at least), and often have unintentionally crossed the line from friendly interest to being invasive. Some people are extremely sensitive, and what I see as an innocent question may send someone off into an offended tirade/sulk/whatever.
This is a borderline area of propriety. It would take a very unusual set of circumstances for me to ask an obviously handicapped person how they got that way, but the
'where are you from' thing can be a bit dodgy (hey! I can use British slang, too!). For an example, when Iran held
Americans hostage ('81?) for so long, a dark-haired, dark-complected Jewish friend of ours had a T-shirt made that said "I am not an Iranian". You never know where people are coming from, literally or attitudinally.


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