June 24, 2002 |
Potayto, potattah. Tomayto, tomattah. Ah, but the issue of dialect is actually much too fascinating to call the whole thing off, according to linguistic research into North American dialects. People commonly assume that regional dialects are steadily blurring toward some future, homogenized version of the language, blandly spanning from sea to shining sea. It's just the opposite, as the research shows.
June 25, 1997 |
Remember how television, that mighty social sledgehammer, was going to pulverize our language? Nothing would remain of our distinctive accents and dialects; we would all be bland, chattering like so many weather announcers. It seems, however, in the event you haven't been listening, that the contrary is happening. Far from disappearing, those distinctive manners of speaking that vary from place to place and people to people are in profusion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2006 |
Carson Hom's family has run a thriving fortune cookie and almond cookie company in Los Angeles County for 35 years. And for much of that time, it was a business that required two languages: Cantonese, to communicate with employees and the Chinese restaurants that bought the cookies, and English, to deal with health inspectors, suppliers and accountants. But when Hom, 30, decided to start his own food import company, he learned that this bilingualism wasn't enough anymore.
May 13, 1996 |
Growing up on the west Kansas plains, he was taught self-reliance by his mother because "wadnaanybodygonnadoot" for him. During 3 1/2 decades in Congress, he's prided himself on cutting the "def'sit" and, at the same time, "gittin more s'port for aggerculter." If he wins the presidency, after having been a loyal Republican for "minetire life," he will finally have a "drek line to the Kremlin." The way Kansas Sen. Robert J.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 23, 2007 |
Sitting across from his teacher, Edgar Martinez repeated the word he couldn't quite pronounce: "situation." "Sit-oo-a-shun," he said. "What happens with the tu?" asked the teacher, Lisa Mojsin, hired to help Martinez reduce his accent. "Chu," Martinez responded. "Yes, like chewing your food," Mojsin said, saying the word slowly: "Sit-chew-a-shun." "Wow -- that is another new one for me," said Martinez, 37, who emigrated from Mexico as a teenager and lives in Los Angeles.
May 11, 1993 |
Among the first words a foreigner is apt to hear on a visit to Haiti are: " Blan, sa k' pase? Ki sa ou ap fe an Ayiti? " Or a visitor in Jamaica might overhear this exchange: " Me a gaa a tung." " Wa mek? " " Mi a gaa one flim . " In the first instance, the Haitian is asking: "Stranger, what's happening? What are you doing in Haiti?" In the Jamaican exchange, the first speaker says, "I am going to town." He is asked "Why?" The answer: "I'm going to a movie."