Dialects

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This is a fun video. It includes a few pronunciation sweeps we don’t usually see.

Do you know the phrase “The furnace is broken, call Earl the oilman!” Which, in certain American English dialects sound like “… Oil the earlman.”

And you know “Paak the caa in Haavaaad yaaad” form the dialect that the “r’s” except the ones that aren’t there. When I lived in that region, I need to learn the specific dialect of Somerville Mass, otherwise it was impossible to do certain things like get off the bus. If you are in the back of the bus, you yell out “rear door” so the driver will open the back door for you. But if it doesn’t sound like “Reaa dohaaa” you will miss your stop.

I’m told I have a thick dialect. Amanda and I were at a restaurant the other day, and for reasons I can’t remember, the region of birth of the waiter and everyone else came up. He said to me, “you’re from New York, right?” and I said, “Yes, how did you know?” and Amanda and the waiter broke out laughing. I checked to see if I was wearing a hat or T-shirt that said something on it, but I wasn’t.

OK here’s another one:

I’ll tell you two Minnesota dialect stories. First, I’ll mention that Minnesota itself has multiple dialects, and at least one of them runs well into Wisconsin, but not Milwaukee or the cities down near Chicago.

When I first moved to Minnesota, I got a local friend who ended up showing me around the Twin Cities (mainly Minneapolis), showing me the ropes and all that. I noticed she had certain mannerisms of speech other than the usual Minnesota accent. I didn’t hear these things from anyone else, so I figured it was just her.

Then, I met my wife, years later, and got to know a lot of people in the western Suburbs. Eventually I realized that my wife and my friend had the same mannerisms. Turns out this was a eastern Plymouth/Golden Valley accent, pretty much developed in the Robinsdale school district (Neil Armstrong High).

One of my first times out state (the increasingly considered no-no-term for “rural Minnesota”) and which is roughly like “up state” in New York, this happened. We had been up to Itasca, the headwaters of the Mississippi (and no, “Itasca” is meant to sound a little Indian but it is actually derived clumsily from the Latin, something about a head). Up there, you don’t meet too many local people, and in fact, I didn’t. But on the way back, we stopped for a brat at a local S.A. (all hardware stores, grocery stores, and gas stations in Minnesota are also little restaurants, or at least, were when I first moved here, but many have dropped that tradition with the arrival of fast food). Anyway, I ordered the brats, gave the young girl (maybe 15) the money, and she returned my change. Then, she said as I was leaving, “Gudatcha!”

I said, “what?”

She said, “Gudatcha!”

That happened a few times. Finally I smiled and said, “you too” and left.

Eventually, I figured out what it meant. Can you?

I’ll end with this one. It is a classic. NOT WORK SAFE MAY BE OFFENSIVE

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2 thoughts on “Dialects

  1. β€œPaak the caa in Haavaaad yaaad”

    This screams for the “Law of Conservation of Consonants”, which has a a consequence:

    Every time an ‘r’ is removed from a ‘caa’ in Boston it reappears in the ‘warsh’ in Texas.

  2. LOL, really LOL, rolling on the ground LOL

    That bloody bloke has massive talents. With all of the
    F- bombs, I think it is a video by little d.

    Thank goodness for dialects, which adds wanted diversity
    to a boring daily task.

    BTW, to get better service on the phone, I will use a
    foreign axecent.

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