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View Diary: Virgil Goode makes the presidential ballot in Virginia, but a Republican challenge looms (141 comments)

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  •  You need to be careful (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qm1pooh, DSPS owl

    because in some ways we preserve older forms and it is actually "Queen's English" that has drifted away from itself, haha. I can't think of anything right now in terms of pronunciaiton, but we use the old form "has gotten" whereas now in the UK they say "has got."

    One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

    by Anak on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:34:49 AM PDT

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    •  That's sort of my point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, BigOkie, qm1pooh

      who knows what colonists actually sounded like? Who's to say what English even sounded like in the 18th century in the UK proper let alone what it evolved to sound like here in the colonies? Regionally English would get mixed in with God knows how many other immigrants' tongues Scottish, Irish, Dutch, French, Spanish, and even native American...

      I'm sure records of pronunciation are rare.

      It's an interesting thing to contemplate. I'm always interested in the topic of language drift.

      You're not being "oppressed" when another group gains rights you've always enjoyed.

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:42:22 AM PDT

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      •  We know all this stuff (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Stankus, LilithGardener, qm1pooh

        Check out a book like David Crystal's Encyclopedia of the English Language or the book Albion's Seed (I haven't read the latter, but I understand it has such information.)

        For instance, those who went to Virginia cam from the West Country and they pronounced the "r" after vowels. Those who went to New England came from the east of England where the "r" after vowels had dissappeared.

        One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

        by Anak on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:54:04 AM PDT

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      •  Actually, direct records are not so rare. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qm1pooh, Scott Wooledge

        In the Colonial period people did what they had always done, they spelled what they heard.  Spelling among the non-college-educated, even as late as the American Civil War, is still phonetic.  If you go to the original documents--not the spiffed-up official records like the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, which were produced by men with Classical college educations, but local court records for instance, you'll see plenty of evidence of how words sounded, because the recorders wrote what they heard.  This is especially true of place and family names, and generally unfamiliar words that would have been sounded out.

        Samuel Johnson published the first real English dictionary in 1755, which was really the first wholesale effort to regularize spelling.  It didn't catch on for a long time (for some people it never has).  I'm working now with some letters written in 1944, and the spellings of unfamiliar words are still phonetic.

        "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

        by DrLori on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:29:10 AM PDT

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