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caesar novus

speak 'merican... "it's the new Latin"... but what spe

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many alleged

Edited by Virgil61

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Well, that's a bit exaggerated.  There are pockets of the Appalachians, the Carolinas, and Georgia that are quite remote, and there might be a few Shakespearean-era phrases that they still use today, but these speech communities are shrinking as Internet access and 'city folk' look for other places to live.  The other area is New England, particularly Martha's Vineyard and the Boston Brahmin, but this speech community has almost completely died out or has homogenized to a more standard Boston/Massachusets dialect.

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Well, that's a bit exaggerated.  There are pockets of the Appalachians, the Carolinas, and Georgia that are quite remote, and there might be a few Shakespearean-era phrases that they still use today, but these speech communities are shrinking as Internet access and 'city folk' look for other places to live.  The other area is New England, particularly Martha's Vineyard and the Boston Brahmin, but this speech community has almost completely died out or has homogenized to a more standard Boston/Massachusets dialect.

 

I thought there were a lot of 17th century English words that survive in the general American dialect that are by and large extinct in Britain by or is that overstated?

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As far as I'm aware, it's not nearly the number that people think it is.  Americans have a fair amount of difficulty reading Elizabethan English, to varying degrees of course.  It really depends on which American dialect you're talking about, but most of the ones that would still carry those vestiges are dying out.

 

I'll have to do some more digging when I get home from this business trip, but I believe that the number of phrases and words are diminishing.

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'Gotten' is a fine example. Say 'Gotten' to anally retentive English-Language grammar nazis (like me, for example), and they will bemoan 'creeping Americansation' (as opposed to creeping AmericaniZation) spreading like a mould through our great and ancient English culture.

 

What they fail to realise (not realiZe) is that we sent 'Gotten' over to the New World in the Mayflower. Once over the pond, it went into a sort of holding pattern, while the inhabitants of His Majesty's Colonies looked after it for us. Back here, we lost the word from common usage (presumably we'd gotten careless), and now that we need it back, our friends in the good old US of A are happy to provide.

 

We should all speak Esparanto. Konsentite?

 

PS Doc, thought you should know. Bill Bryson talks at length about the loss of dialect in Martha's Vinyard in his book 'The Lost Continent'. :thumbsup:

Edited by GhostOfClayton

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It's strange how some british words sound hillbilly-ish in the US, like "reckon", or "got" (as in "you have got overweight"). Reckon is sad loss, because "I guess" or "I estimate" can be too weak or too exact. Maybe it is associated with appalachian scots/irish, but even the technical "dead reckoning" gives a whiff of slumming it.

 

"Got" seems a role reversal with the Brits for once streamlining things and the USians clinging to awkward familiar complexity. But I think a functional argument supports the US form. Gotten sets up your expectations to interpret the next sounds in a more specific way, avoiding misunderstandings in a noisy environment. "You have got fat" would not be an obvious insult in the US... it could mean "is that a can of lard in your hand?".  "You have gotten fat" is needed for a true insult, sort of like having to flip a safety off to arm your gun.

 

Also is there danger of ambiguity in british "got" followed by a verb? If there is an infinitive that doesn't need "to" as in "You've got (to) go" and the go term has ambigous forms... well, some of us need multiple cues to not jump to wrong conclusions. If you think cues aren't needed, try to make sense of a rural New Zealand dialect... just their bizarre "e" sound makes it hard for me to even parse where words start or end.

 

Actually I perceive a simpler english on the rise, practiced by non-native english speakers with other non-native english speakers that have lost interest in either the British or US exactness. It's just pragmatic and maybe leans toward simplified constructs of the US, but more continental (latin?) vowel sounds of the UK. It tends to abandon rare words in favor of pairs of common descriptive words for example, and I think is on the road to becoming the dominant favored english. 

Edited by caesar novus

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Hi ya'll. Guess ah'll be headin' down to MRs Miggins fer tea an' crumpet. Maybe a coke with cheese too. Have a good day.

 

Hmmm... Does sound a bit odd doesn't it? Actually I have heard people adopting americanisms, especially the young lads aping the gangsta style, but they always add their own english twist to it.

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