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-   -   Speech pattern and typographical variations across Canada (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=209368)

lio45 Nov 22, 2014 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by someone123 (Post 6817605)
US and UK English are also pretty compatible so I think it's strange to ask which one of the two is the more prominent lingua franca. They are essentially one thing as far as far as global information exchange is concerned...

They are "essentially one thing"... except for the little differences that are the reason for the question I was asking: does "global information exchange" in the modern world take place mostly using words like "colour" and "centre", or does it take place mostly using words like "color" and "center"?

As I said when I wondered it myself three posts ago, I don't have the definitive answer, but my guess is the latter.

lio45 Nov 22, 2014 11:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kool maudit (Post 6817586)
english became the global language due to the british empire, of which the settling of the united states was a big part.

Well, obviously... but you didn't get the point...

If the British Empire had been everything it was except for the US, and those several million km2 of generally warm, generally fertile, generally full of natural resources had instead been, say, a prolific Dutch colony, expanding from the Northeast (NYC/Albany) kind of the same way the original thirteen did, pulling as many immigrants over the following centuries, etc.

Then, would today's global lingua franca in that thought experiment be British English, the language of the UK, Ireland, Australia, Anglo-Canada, NZ, parts of Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. or would it be North American Dutch, the language of the US, its corporations, its scientists, its armed forces, etc.?

someone123 Nov 22, 2014 11:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lio45 (Post 6817745)
They are "essentially one thing"... except for the little differences that are the reason for the question I was asking: does "global information exchange" in the modern world take place mostly using words like "colour" and "centre", or does it take place mostly using words like "color" and "center"?

But you were asking which of the two countries is responsible for more people using their particular brand of English. Let's suppose people in India all start using US spell checkers for some reason when they write stuff in English. Does that put them in the US English camp? Actually there is a case to be made that there are modified Indian dialects of English that may be a distinct from UK/US English as those two dialects are from each other.

I don't think the thought experiment with Dutch is analogous because the cost of switching between English and Dutch is much higher (the cost of switching between, say, English and Mandarin would be higher still). There is almost no cost to switching between US and UK English and there is effectively zero penalty to operating in one over the other. If other people start using US English you can just carry on using UK English and it makes no difference (or it can even be positive due to cultural baggage). If your trading partners were to switch to Dutch on the other hand you'd have to adopt it too and you'd probably end up at a disadvantage.

The "color" vs "colour" usage stuff just amounts to taking a poll.

wg_flamip Nov 23, 2014 2:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lio45 (Post 6817752)
Well, obviously... but you didn't get the point...

If the British Empire had been everything it was except for the US, and those several million km2 of generally warm, generally fertile, generally full of natural resources had instead been, say, a prolific Dutch colony, expanding from the Northeast (NYC/Albany) kind of the same way the original thirteen did, pulling as many immigrants over the following centuries, etc.

Then, would today's global lingua franca in that thought experiment be British English, the language of the UK, Ireland, Australia, Anglo-Canada, NZ, parts of Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. or would it be North American Dutch, the language of the US, its corporations, its scientists, its armed forces, etc.?

I'm not sure. Latin remained Western Europe's lingua franca long after the Roman Empire collapsed - there's no reason to believe English wouldn't have remained relevant internationally decades after the global British Empire slowly fell apart. Even as France waned in relative influence in the 19th Century (with the rise of Germany and the consolidation of British imperial power, &c.), the French language remained very much important internationally (in some fields, even necessary) - evidence of which is coincidentally found in some of the quirks of Commonwealth spelling that got this discussion going. You can imagine a British elite, for example, siding with the prestige French-looking spellings over the crude Americanisms of Webster's reforms.

Somewhat uniquely, written English - particularly in the more conservative strains of British written English (that, for example, maintain the -ise/-ize distinction) - favours etymology over speech. Even when that etymology is erroneous or just downright fabricated ("island" or "ptarmigan"). We seem to just like counter-intuitive spelling. It separates the educated from the uncouth masses, and what other language could've invented and popularized the spelling bee?

cornholio Nov 25, 2014 8:13 PM

51% of Europeans in the EU speak English. That's roughly 270 million English speakers right there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langua...European_Union

Acajack Nov 25, 2014 8:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cornholio (Post 6820780)
51% of Europeans in the EU speak English. That's roughly 270 million English speakers right there. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langua...European_Union

Those aren't native speakers. Plus, they don't unanimously favour one spelling/vocabulary style over another (US vs. UK or vice versa).

lio45 Nov 25, 2014 10:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 6820816)
Those aren't native speakers.

Moreover, if they're anything like me, they progressively achieved fluency in ESL over the years by reading (mostly American) books, watching sub-titled (mostly American) movies and spending time online on (mostly American) websites.

So that could very well be the kind of spelling they learned even though the closest place geographically to them that has native English speakers is the UK. (Just like a Mexican who learns by reading Harry Potter and watching subtitled Doctor Who might get to spell things the British way even though they're next door to the US...)

kwoldtimer Nov 25, 2014 10:29 PM

Pet peeves. Category - Words that too many people mispronounce.

1. Are people too prudish to say ASS-fault rather than ASH-fault (asphalt)?

2. Why do so many people add an extra syllable to "erudite" (i.e. AIR-ee-uh-dite :yuck:)?

lio45 Nov 25, 2014 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wg_flamip (Post 6817871)
I'm not sure. Latin remained Western Europe's lingua franca long after the Roman Empire collapsed - there's no reason to believe English wouldn't have remained relevant internationally decades after the global British Empire slowly fell apart.

I'm also not sure, as I said.

I would guess the American language would have superceded the British language as the language of global trade with the process starting, at the latest, after WW2, with the rise of the defeated West Germany and Japan to their future positions as global economic superpowers taking place using the American language as their second language/commercial language over the following decades.

But it's just my guess :)

GlassCity Nov 25, 2014 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwoldtimer (Post 6820970)
Pet peeves. Category - Words that too many people mispronounce.

1. Are people too prudish to say ASS-fault rather than ASH-fault (asphalt)?

2. Why do so many people add an extra syllable to "erudite" (i.e. AIR-ee-uh-dite :yuck:)?

I've only heard ASH-fault on TV, and erudite doesn't really come up all that much in conversation :P

rousseau Nov 25, 2014 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwoldtimer (Post 6820970)
2. Why do so many people add an extra syllable to "erudite" (i.e. AIR-ee-uh-dite :yuck:)?

Very mischeeveeous of you to ask that.

The other day a young interviewee on CBC talking about her book dealing with online kerfuffles repeatedly pronounced "important" without a glottal stop on the middle T, thereby turning it into a D sound.

"It's very impordint to understand the reasons for this..."

It sounded really childish to me. Which, I understand perfectly well, is a clear sign that I'm getting old. If I cannot convince the rest of the world that the linguistic conventions of my childhood and early adulthood must be carved in stone for all time, well, then...harrumph.

Said interviewee was also obsessed with the word "modality," a fancy word for "method" often used in the field of medicine. She was not talking about medicine. But she shot her pretension in the foot with her use of another of her favoured terms, "agent provocateur," by giving "agent" an American-English pronunciation.

"Ay-jint provocateur"? No. Just, no.

GlassCity Nov 25, 2014 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rousseau (Post 6821027)
Very mischeeveeous of you to ask that.

The other day a young interviewee on CBC talking about her book dealing with online kerfuffles repeatedly pronounced "important" without a glottal stop on the middle T, thereby turning it into a D sound.

"It's very impordint to understand the reasons for this..."

It sounded really childish to me. Which, I understand perfectly well, is a clear sign that I'm getting old. If I cannot convince the rest of the world that the linguistic conventions of my childhood and early adulthood must be carved in stone for all time, well, then...harrumph.

Said interviewee was also obsessed with the word "modality," a fancy word for "method" often used in the field of medicine. She was not talking about medicine. But she shot her pretension in the foot with her use of another of her favoured terms, "agent provocateur," by giving "agent" an American-English pronunciation.

"Ay-jint provocateur"? No. Just, no.

I pronounce the "t' in "important. You're right, it does sound a lot like impordint.

I never realised that was a word that can be pronounced with a glottal stop. To be honest, I didn't realise that was even a thing until I you wrote about it in this thread. I've noticed before that I don't pronounce the "t" in "network," and I thought that was just me speaking improperly.

rousseau Nov 25, 2014 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlassCity (Post 6821045)
I pronounce the "t' in "important. You're right, it does sound a lot like impordint.

I never realised that was a word that can be pronounced with a glottal stop. To be honest, I didn't realise that was even a thing until I you wrote about it in this thread. I've noticed before that I don't pronounce the "t" in "network," and I thought that was just me speaking improperly.

Hold on. No. This particular person pronounced it as impordint, without a glottal stop, but with a D sound. A D sound and a glottal stop are two different things.

Both "network" and "important" are conventionally pronounced with a glottal stop in North American English. There's no D sound in either of them. But this particular person gave the word "important" a D sound in the middle, which sounded ridiculous to me.

You can either say "important" with a full T sound, like when you're saying the the word on its own very slowly, or you can use a glottal stop, which is how we normally say it. But giving it a D sound, as in impordint, is very unusual and, I think, wrong.

GlassCity Nov 25, 2014 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rousseau (Post 6821066)
Hold on. No. This particular person pronounced it as impordint, without a glottal stop, but with a D sound. A D sound and a glottal stop are two different things.

Both "network" and "important" are conventionally pronounced with a glottal stop in North American English. There's no D sound in either of them. But this particular person gave the word "important" a D sound in the middle, which sounded ridiculous to me.

You can either say "important" with a full T sound, like when you're saying the the word on its own very slowly, or you can use a glottal stop, which is how we normally say it. But giving it a D sound, as in impordint, is very unusual and, I think, wrong.

I definitely don't pronounce "important" with a glottal stop, but now that I'm saying it over and over again I can't decide if I say it with a "t" or a "d." Leaning more towards "d."

1overcosc Nov 25, 2014 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwoldtimer (Post 6820970)
Pet peeves. Category - Words that too many people mispronounce.

1. Are people too prudish to say ASS-fault rather than ASH-fault (asphalt)?

2. Why do so many people add an extra syllable to "erudite" (i.e. AIR-ee-uh-dite :yuck:)?

You would hate my speech. So hard. It seems every thing you complain about in language is something I do :)

kwoldtimer Nov 26, 2014 1:39 AM

Watching CNN today, I heard some jerk describe someone as being "treated with kiddy gloves". The lead announcer used my favourite technique of repeating the expression correctly in her response.

SignalHillHiker Nov 26, 2014 9:47 PM

I was watching Question Period in the House of Assembly today and I noticed something that struck me as quite strange.

First - it was a delight hearing all of the different accents from around the island. The differences almost seem exaggerated in the House - but surely that can't be intentional? No one but me even notices these things. :haha:

Anyhow, I noticed one female minister in particular, even when speaking slowly and sternly for emphasis, still pronounced everything in her own accent.

"WILL DUH MINISTER COMMIT TO RELEASIN DAT REPORT DA DAY?"

I couldn't do that if I tried. If I'm speaking that slowly, and that sternly, every syllable - especially TH - is at least correctly pronounced, if not completely devoid of accent. That's part of what it takes to convey sternness to me. It was weird.

The one I'm talking about specifically appears in this video just after 39:30 into it:

http://archive.isiglobal.ca/vod/nfld...-high.mp4.html

kwoldtimer Nov 26, 2014 10:32 PM

I think she did not realize her turn was coming up and was still working on a toffee when she had to ask her question. :D

Trevor3 Nov 27, 2014 1:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 6822324)
I was watching Question Period in the House of Assembly today and I noticed something that struck me as quite strange.

First - it was a delight hearing all of the different accents from around the island. The differences almost seem exaggerated in the House - but surely that can't be intentional? No one but me even notices these things. :haha:

Anyhow, I noticed one female minister in particular, even when speaking slowly and sternly for emphasis, still pronounced everything in her own accent.

"WILL DUH MINISTER COMMIT TO RELEASIN DAT REPORT DA DAY?"

I couldn't do that if I tried. If I'm speaking that slowly, and that sternly, every syllable - especially TH - is at least correctly pronounced, if not completely devoid of accent. That's part of what it takes to convey sternness to me. It was weird.

The one I'm talking about specifically appears in this video just after 39:30 into it:

http://archive.isiglobal.ca/vod/nfld...-high.mp4.html

I didn't watch the video but I'm guessing that was the MHA for Cartwright? Yvonne Jones had the same accent, very clear and concise, understandable, almost clean of accent BUT she can't say a TH to save her life.

BretttheRiderFan Nov 27, 2014 4:34 AM

I hear things are pretty damn brutal for the PC government in Newfoundland right now. They've pretty much got zero chance to be renewed next election.

Anyway, I was watching the Alberta legislature on TV the other day and noticed something you'd never see in the House of Commons...an MLA from the governing party actually grilling and going back and forth with a minister. It was almost unbelievable for someone like myself who rarely if ever actually watches legislative proceedings outside of Ottawa.

Anyway, your comment about a minister asking another minister to release a report made me think of that, and then it popped into my mind that the PC government in Alberta is fresh off sweeping byelections and leading the polls and this is going on in Alberta, I can't imagine what the Newfoundland Assembly is like right now.


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