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Has Achieved Nirvana
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Posts: 45799 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
(self-titled) semi-posting lurker
Minor Deity
Picture of ShiroKuro
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Ooh, that's a great article, I'm putting it into my supplementals for my linguistics class!

Back to the topic at hand, since I'm not running for president, hopefully no one will make fun of me (or label it the dagnabbit effect) when I use "y'all."

Authenticity is pretty hard to come by, and people sure are unforgiving when they think you're faking it!


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My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 18737 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gadfly
Picture of Lisa
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I think I have a pretty neutral accent even though I grew up in a town with a very distinct one. But I have found that it is very very easy for me to pick up accents and speech patterns when I live somewhere else. When I lived in Ohio for 2 years, I found myself calling soda "pop" and saying "y'all" even though the y'all at least wasn't very common out there. Then I moved home for a few months and even though I never really had the NE Pennsylvania accent growing up, I noticed hints of it creeping in to my speech (or maybe I had it all along and only noticed it because I had been away in Ohio for so long). When we vacation in NC for an extended period of time, I'm right back to the y'all I dropped when I left Ohio. And I'm not trying to do any of this - it just happens. And I'm well educated (MA in English) and been living outside of these areas most of my life. So I could definitely see how Warren, having been raised with that accent, would find it slipping out naturally when she returned to areas that spoke like that. I don't see this as faking at all because I know it happens to me (and I'm not even a native southerner "y'all" person at all!!! - I grew up in a squarely "yous" area but never said it because my parents and English teachers raised me "properly" LOL)
 
Posts: 4416 | Location: Suburban Philly, PA | Registered: 30 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Foregoing Practicing to Post
Minor Deity
Picture of RealPlayer
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She just can't get her no respect.


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“It's hard to win an argument with a smart person. It's damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person." -- Bill Murray

 
Posts: 13859 | Location: The outer burrows | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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I could have written Lisa's post except that I don't have the advanced degree in English.

I think I'm an accent sponge.


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When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden - Minnie Aumônier

 
Posts: 38140 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of jon-nyc
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quote:
Warren could have said, “I’m gonna get myself a beer,” or she could have simply left out the pronoun and said, “I’m gonna get a beer.”


Or she could have bagged the whole idea of taking a sip of beer during her presidential run announcement.


I think everybody who saw that - Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent - winced out of embarrassment for her. She’s a uniter after all.


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If you think looting is bad wait until I tell you about civil forfeiture.

 
Posts: 33811 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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I'm confused by some of the commentary. Rich people aren't supposed to drink brewskis?

I haven't watched the clip, but she looks very comfortable with the brewski in the photo accompanying the article. It is the American way to want to rise above one's roots, but the people left behind reserve their worst bitterness for the ones who do.

And also, have these people never heard of code-switching? I feel sure that Elizabeth Warren spoke in the local vernacular when she was growing up and she learned to speak more standard English to fit in when she left Oklahoma. That's code-switching and we all do it, but people who have moved across social strata do it more. Do people really think that the upwardly mobile don't drop their g's when they're comfortably at home with their families and don't need to impress anybody?

[spoken with a stiff upper lip] "Hello, dear? I am home. What are you preparing for dinner? I am famished." [/end stiff upper lip]

Does anybody really talk like that at home? Isn't Warren's goal to establish a rapport with the electorate? I know how politicians in the South speak. They ramp up their homey accents even higher than they probably use at home for just that reason. I've seen politicians do really stupid things to engage with their voters. One of them was a governor who carried a lunchbox to work. Another one liked to do photo ops driving bulldozers. Why does Elizabeth Warren's beer stimulate such vitriol?

This conversation reminds me of the way people talked about Obama. He supposedly talked too much like an egghead for some people, but imagine the response if he'd used speech patterns that I suppose are called "urban." The bigots would have been lighting bonfires in the streets. When people are predisposed not to like someone (and I believe that's the definition of prejudice), nothing they do is ever right.

It's perfectly legitimate to dislike Warren's political positions, but this kind of criticism is inane.


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Mary Anna Evans
http://www.maryannaevans.com
MaryAnna@ermosworld.com

 
Posts: 15531 | Location: Florida | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Foregoing Practicing to Post
Minor Deity
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Yeah, Mary Anna, I think she's being over-scrutinized. People are going out of their way to find things they don't like about her.


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“It's hard to win an argument with a smart person. It's damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person." -- Bill Murray

 
Posts: 13859 | Location: The outer burrows | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of jon-nyc
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quote:
Originally posted by Mary Anna:
It's perfectly legitimate to dislike Warren's political positions, but this kind of criticism is inane.


I think I’d be most critical of these things if I liked her positions and wanted her to be viable. First the gift to Trump of the DNA test and now this ‘prolier than thou’ moment. The woman seems not to possess a political antenna.


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If you think looting is bad wait until I tell you about civil forfeiture.

 
Posts: 33811 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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I think she's being forced into a place where there is no way for her to be a viable candidate.

I thought the DNA test was a bad idea, but I also think that the constant insults lobbed at her over her claim of native ancestry, when coming from the most powerful person in the world who is speaking from the world's biggest bully pulpit, put her in an untenable position.

He has spent years positioning her as a laughing-stock. I can think of few, maybe no, politicians who don't look stupid when doing folksy stunts. (And this was a very minor folksy stunt when compared to bulldozer driving.) But Trump has made accusing Elizabeth Warren of being out-of-touch a game. It's particularly galling when one looks back at idiotic pictures of him sitting at the wheel of a fire truck or hears him saying that he understands how furloughed federal workers feel when he likes to sit on a golden toilet.

I have qualms about her policies, too, but I don't think that she merits the condescension that is regularly lobbed her way.


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Mary Anna Evans
http://www.maryannaevans.com
MaryAnna@ermosworld.com

 
Posts: 15531 | Location: Florida | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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By the way, is this all just a straw man?

Did anyone really criticize her English usage? The piece didn’t cite any. They actually had to cite criticisms of Kerry’s speech and tie them to her in a roundabout way.


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If you think looting is bad wait until I tell you about civil forfeiture.

 
Posts: 33811 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Nina
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I dunno. I think that it came across as pandering. I felt the same way when watching some of Hillary's older speeches, particularly when Bill was governator and was running for POTUS. She sounded like she was born in the deep south, for heaven's sake. AND, more to the point, her accent disappeared at will and apparently disappeared completely once she was FLOTUS.

I have no issue with Warren sucking down a brewski. I think her grammar appeared inauthentic. I didn't write a column about it, but that's how it struck me.
 
Posts: 35412 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
Picture of Amanda
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Maybe this is a good time to mention the hitherto unmentionable - that Obama most definitely seemed to acquire more than a touch of black vernacular/accent when he was running and afterwards.

Or has anybody else got a good enough memory to remember how he used to speak before he was running for office and thereabouts? Did he or didn't he change?

That said, my own manner of speaking definitely changed during the considerable years I spent overseas, Europe and Israel (Brit roommate good part of that time).

Part of that was deliberate, especially after the years in France when I spoke almost zero English because of total immersion. When I DID speak English (=Americanish) it sounded really unpleasant to me - especially nasal.
When I went to the US consulate in Paris to renew my passport, I was actually interrogated because experts in pronunciation noticed I was struggling with certain locutions.

Much (only reversed) as I'd struggled to master French phonetics in the language lab before I moved to Europe. There really ARE certain letters that strain itsy bitsy muscles until one strengthens them.

Then when I returned to this country (PA) everybody asked me if I was British. I suppose that's diminished a lot since then.

I suppose I too (like WTG and Lisa) have that tendency to mimic sounds in my environment. Certainly when I visited my South Carolinian relatives in the summer, pretty much as soon as we crossed the Mason Dixon line, I adopted their pronunciation. (Did NOT want to sound like a damned Yankee!).


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The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

 
Posts: 14392 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Has Achieved Nirvana
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I read an article recently talking about how it was condescending to say that Obama was "well-spoken". It implied that he didn't speak like a black man.

I'm not sure I agree; there are plenty of white folks who aren't well-spoken. We can name one who sits behind the Resolute Desk. But it's a thing.
 
Posts: 45799 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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