Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    For me ‘lower’ has two syllables, ‘low-uh’ and ‘lore’ has only one ‘law’.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    but surely it's also about the vowel sound, not just whether you pronounce the "r"

    for me, "lore" would sound very similar to "lower", but law rhymes with Awe

    Same vowel for me. The awe one, not the lower one.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Yes, I assume rhotic dialects do have /lor/ for lore. Any Bristolians? I have a feeling the vowel is different in some dialects, a bit like horse/hoarse, which are the same in some dialects, different in others.
    'Lore' and 'law' definitely sound different in a rhotic dialect such as SW England. The vowel is usually the same, the same one as in 'awe' but in 'lore' the 'r' is pronounced. There isn't an 'r' at the end of 'law', but there might be an illicit one where the next word starts with a consonant as in the demand for 'Laura Norder'.

    I don't think the rhotic 'r', e.g. at the end of the word, is quite the same as the RP one at, say, the beginning of a word. It sometimes sounds a bit as though it comes from the back of the mouth.

    Although it might scan as one, I think 'lower' is usually pronounced in England as two syllables, one gliding into the other. Both are quite different sounds from the vowel in lore/law. I think horse/hoarse are homophones in most English dialects.

  • This isn't definitive, but I've been doing a Google search for quotes about Fall. The only one from this side of the Pond I can find is from Oscar Wilde: "And all at once, summer collapsed into fall". Now Wilde and Hopkins overlap chronologically, but no one seems to give a source for this, so I'm not sure this is genuine.

    Can anyone a) verify the quote or b) give any other examples of Fall being used in Britain?
  • Wet Kipper wrote: »
    but surely it's also about the vowel sound, not just whether you pronounce the "r"

    for me, "lore" would sound very similar to "lower", but law rhymes with Awe

    Do you not rhyme "lore" with "bore", "sore", and so on? Or does "sore" sound much like "sower" in your accent?

    For me, lore and law are rather similar, but there is a distinction - I think I put the merest hint of 'r' in lore to distinguish it from law. If you just heard me say one word in isolation, I'm not sure you could tell which one I had said.
  • I'm not doubting you, @Robertus L, but I'd love some more information about this. Off the top of my head I can't think of any examples from English Literature that back up your claim. (And were sidewalk and faucet really common in Middle English?)

    My source is the blessed Susie Dent. For non-UK viewers, Susie Dent is a lexicographer who works for the OED and appears on a popular TV show Countdown where contestants try to make words from randomly selected letters

    Dent has written a number of academic and popular books on the English language. One of her pet peeves is the snobbish attitude some British people have towards supposed Americanisms on the grounds that, a) the English don't own the language and it's legitimate for Americans/Canadans/Scots or whoever to develop a language that meets the needs of their society and culture, and b) many of the oft derided usages often originated in what is now the UK.

    Concerning 'sidewalk', apparent this was used in England in earlier times. To have a pavement , one needs paving, and this would have been lacking in even larger towns before the C19. Most street would have been deeply rutted by wagons and full of the contents of carelessly tossed chamber pots*

    People, therefore, walked carefully on the sides of streets, which through constant use became compacted, providing a sidewalk for the convenience of pedestrians.

    With thanks to KarlLB for the clarification

    * the British slang term ' tosspot' meaning a stupid or inconsiderate person is said to derive from this unfortunate practice.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited February 5
    ETA: Drat. Everybody else got there first, and with the exact same link! That'll teach me to scroll down.

  • Golden Key wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Perhaps it's from an unpublished Shakespearean play?

    King {rising from throne and bellowing}: "Look you, jumpers!

    Welsh King, is he then?

    Which bit of that signals Welsh, please?
    Its the position of the comma. Those not lucky enough to be Welsh, especially English scriptwriters, seem to think that making a character say look you makes them "sound Welsh" - in fact saying look you used like that is something native Welsh speakers do when an English mother-tongue speaker wouldn't.

    Welsh uses pronouns more frequently than the equivalent English idioms. So, while it's perfectly correct to say Edrychwch (Look!) you'll more commonly hear Edrychwch chi (Look you). The stereotypical Welsh expression may have originated in a literal translation of the Welsh idom in to English. I've never heard a real live Welsh person actually say 'look, you'

    (As note elsewhere, Welsh retain its 'ti' form so you could also say Edrycha ti. The use of ti and chi in Welsh is so complicated it could furnish the material for several PhDs, and probably has)
  • Wet KipperWet Kipper Shipmate
    edited February 5
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    but surely it's also about the vowel sound, not just whether you pronounce the "r"

    for me, "lore" would sound very similar to "lower", but law rhymes with Awe

    Do you not rhyme "lore" with "bore", "sore", and so on? Or does "sore" sound much like "sower" in your accent?

    yes, Lore, bore, sore (and sower) rhyme for me (along with core, more, soar)

    the vowel sound is o - as in what you would say for the letter O if you were reciting the alphabet, and the r is pronounced

    Saw, on the other hand, has vowel sound same as with Awwwwww (when you express disappointment, or see something cute) and no R
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Robertus L wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Perhaps it's from an unpublished Shakespearean play?

    King {rising from throne and bellowing}: "Look you, jumpers!

    Welsh King, is he then?

    Which bit of that signals Welsh, please?
    Its the position of the comma. Those not lucky enough to be Welsh, especially English scriptwriters, seem to think that making a character say look you makes them "sound Welsh" - in fact saying look you used like that is something native Welsh speakers do when an English mother-tongue speaker wouldn't.

    Welsh uses pronouns more frequently than the equivalent English idioms. So, while it's perfectly correct to say Edrychwch (Look!) you'll more commonly hear Edrychwch chi (Look you). The stereotypical Welsh expression may have originated in a literal translation of the Welsh idom in to English. I've never heard a real live Welsh person actually say 'look, you'

    (As note elsewhere, Welsh retain its 'ti' form so you could also say Edrycha ti. The use of ti and chi in Welsh is so complicated it could furnish the material for several PhDs, and probably has)

    Chdi...

    Isn't ti/chi mostly the same as tu/vous though? Inasmuch as "if in doubt, use 'chi'".

  • If only!!

    Chidi (ie chi + ti) is a North Walsean goldilocks pronoun; more formal than ti less formal than chi.

    Broadly ti/chi is similar to tu/vous, but there are so many local variation that it can be a bit of a mine field. For example, I have cousins who addressed our common grandmother as ti, but their other grandmother as chi.

    Not that the Welsh are content to use only ti and chi, as throughout Wales various forms of the third person singular are used to denote intimacy. On parts of Anglesey, you might be asked Sut mae hi? which literally means 'How is she?' but actually means how are you? Used irrespective of gender. Other options in other parts of Wales are available.

    It has to be said, however, that in recent times ti is becoming the standard amongst younger people whom ever they are speaking to (chi still used when talking to more than one person).
  • This isn't definitive, but I've been doing a Google search for quotes about Fall. The only one from this side of the Pond I can find is from Oscar Wilde: "And all at once, summer collapsed into fall". Now Wilde and Hopkins overlap chronologically, but no one seems to give a source for this, so I'm not sure this is genuine.

    Can anyone a) verify the quote or b) give any other examples of Fall being used in Britain?

    A lot of articles state that fall was used for autumn in England until 16th century, but I can't find any citations, so that is useless. Some also argue that Chaucer first used autumn.

    Of course, Hopkins had a great interest in language, including obscure stuff, so it's possible he would have used fall with the sense of autumn. I don't have an annotated edition.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Robertus L wrote: »
    If only!!

    Chidi (ie chi + ti) is a North Walsean goldilocks pronoun; more formal than ti less formal than chi.

    Broadly ti/chi is similar to tu/vous, but there are so many local variation that it can be a bit of a mine field. For example, I have cousins who addressed our common grandmother as ti, but their other grandmother as chi.

    Not that the Welsh are content to use only ti and chi, as throughout Wales various forms of the third person singular are used to denote intimacy. On parts of Anglesey, you might be asked Sut mae hi? which literally means 'How is she?' but actually means how are you? Used irrespective of gender. Other options in other parts of Wales are available.

    It has to be said, however, that in recent times ti is becoming the standard amongst younger people whom ever they are speaking to (chi still used when talking to more than one person).

    Of course you could parse sut mae hi? as "how is it?" since hi is used for the dummy subject.
  • True, as Welsh has no neuter pronouns ( and why you have to be careful about saying it's raining*). However, it definitely means you, in this context. A Darthvader from that part of Anglesey would have said Dw i'n ei thad hi which literally means I am her father but means in this context I am your father

    In parts of South Wales they use the third person masculine pronoun irrespective of actual gender. While in West Wales they use the third person singular with the correct pronoun as appropriate.

    * a standard Welsh idom equivalent to 'it's raining cats and dogs' is Mae hi'n bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn literally it is raining old ladies and sticks: however a misplaced stress can change its meaning to ' she's beating old ladies with sticks'
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    While in Blaenau ffestiniog on alternate Tuesdays they use the anaphoric gerund - but only if it's raining*

    I can see why I never got that far in learning Welsh.

    *which it usually is.
  • Yes Anglophones have it easy 😀
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited February 5
    The r in non-rhotic dialects is unrolled. It's a bare flap at an r even when as at the start of words it is pronounced.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    I'm not at all sure that Hopkins would have known of/used fall as a name for autumn.

    Etymonline dot com says the use of "Fall" for "Autumn" was formerly common in the UK but now is rare outside the US. Add to the bucket with "gotten".
  • There's a nice selection of quotes in the OED, from (in chronological order) Ascham, Raleigh, Capt. Smith, Evelyn, H. Kelsey, Luttrell, J. Edwards, Quebec Gaz., Scott, J. Baxter, J.E. Alexander, Carlyle, Merivale, Lowell, C.E. Montague, and D. McCowan. One hopes Sir Walter Scott is eastpondian enough.
  • Thank you @mousethief, that's exactly the sort of thing I was after. None of those are authors I know well; in fact Scott is the only one I've read at all. So there is some excuse for my ignorance.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    The OED says
    A shortening of earlier fall of the leaf: see Phrases 4.
    Although common in British English in the 16th century, by the end of the 17th century fall had been overtaken by autumn as the primary term for this season. In early North American use both terms were in use, but fall had become established as the more usual term by the early 19th century.

    It then cites from the following;
    1550 J. Hooper Godly Confession
    1601 W. Cornwallis Ess. II.
    1664 J. Evelyn Sylva (1679)
    1701 D. Irish Animadversio Astrologica
    1826 W. Scott Malachi Malagrowther
    1907 Standard 21 Feb
    1987 F. Graham New Geordie Dict.
    2001 Irish Times 18 July

    I have omitted North American citations.
  • PendragonPendragon Shipmate
    edited February 5
    On the subject of Latin, it has a full complement of 6 persons and umpteen tenses for verbs, as well as a myriad of declensions. I disliked doing Latin grammar when studying it, but it did mean I had a head start on my A-Level French compatriots when learning about things like subjunctives. It is a bit of both when it comes to pronouns, sometimes they're there to specify people, but often the specificity of the endings being used is enough to make things clear, especially when continuing a train of thought. There is plenty of historical evidence that people did sometimes struggle to get it right in everyday use though.

  • Pendragon wrote: »
    On the subject of Latin, it has a full complement of 6 persons and umpteen tenses for verbs, as well as a myriad of declensions. I disliked doing Latin grammar when studying it, but it did mean I had a head start on my A-Level French compatriots when learning about things like subjunctives. It is a bit of both when it comes to pronouns, sometimes they're there to specify people, but often the specificity of the endings being used is enough to make things clear, especially when continuing a train of thought. There is plenty of historical evidence that people did sometimes struggle to get it right in everyday use though.

    Doubtless their friends and neighbors mocked them with the Latin equivalent of "Blueberry's what?"
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    I'm not at all sure that Hopkins would have known of/used fall as a name for autumn.

    I'm not sure about this either. Everyone over here knows what Americans mean when they talk about "fall", but I haven't heard anyone use it. Would it have been widespread knowledge in an era before movies and TV?

    On a related note, as a result of this thread I know have "Margaret, are you grieving," swirling round my mind. ("Worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie" - great!) Does anyone else get earworms of poetry?

    And of course, 'wanwood' is a Hopkins own, but the meaning is so clear on a first reading that it's a wonder it has not made its way into regular speech.

    Thanks for all about the "fall" comments. Hopkins may well have known it.

  • mt--
    mousethief wrote: »

    Doubtless their friends and neighbors mocked them with the Latin equivalent of "Blueberry's what?"

    Huh???
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    mt--
    mousethief wrote: »

    Doubtless their friends and neighbors mocked them with the Latin equivalent of "Blueberry's what?"

    Huh???

    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    mt--
    mousethief wrote: »

    Doubtless their friends and neighbors mocked them with the Latin equivalent of "Blueberry's what?"

    Huh???

    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.

    There are extant lists of pet peeves from the time.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited February 6
    Pendragon wrote: »
    On the subject of Latin, it has a full complement of 6 persons and umpteen tenses for verbs, as well as a myriad of declensions. I disliked doing Latin grammar when studying it, but it did mean I had a head start on my A-Level French compatriots when learning about things like subjunctives. It is a bit of both when it comes to pronouns, sometimes they're there to specify people, but often the specificity of the endings being used is enough to make things clear, especially when continuing a train of thought. There is plenty of historical evidence that people did sometimes struggle to get it right in everyday use though.

    Most of the synthetic forms (inflected perfect, pluperfect, future etc.) didn't survive into modern Romance, and were were replaced with forms using auxiliary verbs (especially habeo and esse) implying that people struggled with them, perhaps especially where Latin was acquired as a second language in the Empire. Fascinatingly (or not), one of the reasons for the aforementioned variety of use in Welsh is that it is in the tail end of a similar process; the considerably more conservative literary language (so conservative that using it in speech would be like using Shakespearean English, forsooth!) has inflected synthetic forms for lots of tenses which the colloquial language never uses. Other tenses can be formed either way. So I can say "Bydda i'n mynd" - literally "will be I in (the action of) going", or "af i" - literally "will go I". I can also say "dysgais i" - "learnt I" but also "gwnes i ddysgu" - "did I (the action of) learning". Note the language is verb initial.

    Similar things must have been going on in Vulgar Latin.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    mt--
    mousethief wrote: »

    Doubtless their friends and neighbors mocked them with the Latin equivalent of "Blueberry's what?"

    Huh???

    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.

    There are extant lists of pet peeves from the time.

    Sweet vindication!
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    mt--
    mousethief wrote: »

    Doubtless their friends and neighbors mocked them with the Latin equivalent of "Blueberry's what?"

    Huh???

    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.

    Well it depends how many grocers are involved, but there seem to be fewer grocers these days. I would say the grocer's shop, but in a much bigger town I could probably say the grocers' shops.
  • From Wikipedia:
    Though most English varieties in England are non-rhotic today... rhotic accents are still found in the West Country...  the Corby area, some of Lancashire (north and west of the centre of Manchester), some parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and in the areas that border Scotland. The prestige form, however, exerts a steady pressure toward non-rhoticity. Thus the urban speech of Bristol or Southampton is more accurately described as variably rhotic, the degree of rhoticity being reduced as one moves up the class and formality scales.
    I grew up in a rhotic part of Lancashire, though I've lost the rhoticity now. Accents are constantly shifting though and it wouldn't surprise me if the regional accent has lost its r by now.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    When D. was conducting the bit of the Psalms about a "ramping and a roaring lion"* he used to tell the choir to "roll your 'r's, and don't leave it all to Piglet", the assumption being that as I'm Scottish, it comes naturally to me.

    He said the effect he was after was "in the manner of a mildly peeved Glaswegian". :mrgreen:

    * he even typed it out in the copy as "rrramping and rrroaring"
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.

    People called Romanes, they go the house?

  • Tree BeeTree Bee Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.

    People called Romanes, they go the house?

    😆
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Regarding "fall" -- as a Canadian, I had no idea that it wasn't used in the UK as a synonym for "autumn" until a UK reader (a Shipmate, in fact!) was kindly reading some chapters of my manuscript set in the UK and corrected my usage. Although as the relevant passages were set in the early 17th century, it might not have completely fallen out of use in British English then ... but I corrected all references to "fall" to make it say "autumn" instead, just to be sure!

    However, I don't think Hopkins would have needed to refer to the season as "fall" for the Fall/fall play on words to work in the poem -- even if he didn't call autumn "fall," or know anyone who did, he's comparing the fall of the leaves (in autumn) to the Fall of man in Eden, so the fall/Fall pun still works regardless what word you use for the season.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.

    People called Romanes, they go the house?

    I give you this, in Latin, with corrected grammar!
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Pendragon wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Thinking of the grocers (grocer's? grocers'?) apostrophe. People probably made analogous errors in Latin.

    People called Romanes, they go the house?

    I give you this, in Latin, with corrected grammar!

    It's wrong. Romans is Romani, not Romanii.
  • Alas the hoarding is no longer there to correct further. It was around the old site of the Minster school in Southwell.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    So I knew Australian English was thoroughly non-rhotic.

    But just now I was reading the Wikipedia article on it, and it talked about how an "r" sound would magically appear before a vowel such as pronouncing "law and order" as "law-r-and order". And I said it out loud, and holy hell I heard it. Scary.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    So I knew Australian English was thoroughly non-rhotic.

    But just now I was reading the Wikipedia article on it, and it talked about how an "r" sound would magically appear before a vowel such as pronouncing "law and order" as "law-r-and order". And I said it out loud, and holy hell I heard it. Scary.

    Law and order is non rhotic for me. maybe it depends on where in Australia you live. After all, people in Melbourne can't say the short e sound as in egg - it sounds like agg, and they pronounce Melbourne as Malbourne.
  • Here in Northwestia, we say it almost as lawn order, with the vowel of the first word stretched a bit.
  • In looking for a word to describe what a river does, I looked up "wend vs wind" and found this astonishing (to me) statement:

    In these parts, neither the verb nor the noun "wind" is homophonic with "wend". Are they homophones where you live?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited February 8
    orfeo wrote: »
    So I knew Australian English was thoroughly non-rhotic.

    But just now I was reading the Wikipedia article on it, and it talked about how an "r" sound would magically appear before a vowel such as pronouncing "law and order" as "law-r-and order". And I said it out loud, and holy hell I heard it. Scary.

    Miss Laura Norder, to you.

    And mousethief, no, very different pronunciations here to reflect the different vowel
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Might possibly be in New Zealand?
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    rhubarb wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    So I knew Australian English was thoroughly non-rhotic.

    But just now I was reading the Wikipedia article on it, and it talked about how an "r" sound would magically appear before a vowel such as pronouncing "law and order" as "law-r-and order". And I said it out loud, and holy hell I heard it. Scary.

    Law and order is non rhotic for me. maybe it depends on where in Australia you live. After all, people in Melbourne can't say the short e sound as in egg - it sounds like agg, and they pronounce Melbourne as Malbourne.

    Well for me if I say it quickly it very much becomes "Lore and order". Or more realistically "law rand order".
  • mousethief wrote: »
    In looking for a word to describe what a river does, I looked up "wend vs wind" and found this astonishing (to me) statement:

    In these parts, neither the verb nor the noun "wind" is homophonic with "wend". Are they homophones where you live?

    I can think of two different ways of pronouncing "wind" and neither is the same as "wend".
  • mousethief wrote: »
    In these parts, neither the verb nor the noun "wind" is homophonic with "wend". Are they homophones where you live?
    No. (American South)

    “Tin” and “ten,” or “pin” and “pen” on the other hand . . . .


  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Might possibly be in New Zealand?

    Yes, New Zealand was my thought for wind/wend.

    I played rugby many years ago with a Kiwi, who after particularly robust tackles would complain of being 'wended'
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    England normal pronunciations.
    'Wind' the thing that blows rhymes with 'sinned'.
    'Wind' what you do to a clock rhymes with 'find'.
    'Wend' what you do when you wend your way, rhymes with 'send'.
    Those are not homophones. Nor, here are 'tin' and 'ten' or 'pin' and 'pen'.
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