Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • I thought in the song, 'sarcasm' has unusual stress on the second syllable, whereas normally it's on the first. However, it's still the vowel in 'flat'.

    Hmm - I think I say the word with pretty much even stress on both syllables. But if I wanted to stress it, yes, it would normally be the first syllable.
  • It also shows the normal shift in stress to the 2nd syllable, if a 3rd is added, 'sarcastic'. However, some dialects, e.g., in Ireland have different stress, e.g., 'post office', stress on 1st syllable in RP, but 2nd in some dialects. The trouble is, after repeating something about 10 times, I can't remember what I say.
  • In the UK, it's 'pyjamas', and I think it's pronounced 'p'jamas'.
  • Another schwa there, I think. Perjamers.
  • There may be some fiddling around with the stress for musical purposes. Singing and spoken speech - if I can put it that way - often differ.

    But yes, there're certainly variations between the northern English 'a' and the southern English pronunciations. KarlLB, as so often, nails it.

    There are differences between northern and southern English vowel sounds generally - 'oo' and 'u' most notably.

    Also in the north, particularly Yorkshire, there's often a short 'y' sound at the end of words. 'Cit-eh' rather than 'cit-ee'.

    On Karl's observations on Welsh. Assuredly he possesses great and impressive knowledge for which this South Walian is grateful. I wish there was a 'not worthy' symbol still.

    I had thought the Gwentian dialect of Welsh was long since extinct. There are few Welsh speakers in Gwent and all the Welsh speakers I knew there when growing up in the '60s and '70s had moved to the area from West or North Wales.

    There's a very rare - unique? - inscription in Gwentian Welsh in the Priory in Usk.

    Oh the hiraeth ...

    Long I've lived in England but my heart is back in that pleasant land of Gwent ...
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    S Wales Llaeth for milk; N Wales Llefrith. One of the words also means buttermilk in the *other* dialect but I can't remember which way round.

    S Wales folk are known as Hwntws - apparently meaning "them over there".

    As regards the SE, the Gwentian dialect is alas pretty much extinct; Welsh speakers in that area use more generic S Welsh.

    This may surprise, but S and N Welsh are at least as different in sound, syntax and vocabulary as UK and US English, despite the small size of the country. Enough so that you have to learn a particular one from the beginning as some quite basic words and phrases are different.

    The differences are such that I've heard of Welsh speakers in call centres in South Wales opting to take incoming calls from North Walians in English. Otherwise the calls take too long as each tries to figure out what the other is trying to say.
  • Is it the mountains? I'm not sure how far up the coast South Walian Welsh goes - does it get past Aberystwyth?

  • It's why the Polish pronunciation of 'Ł' as a 'W' sound* (together with other diacriticals it causes the city of Łódź to be pronounced 'Woodge' -- 'oo' as in 'wood') isn't as bizarre to English-speakers as it looks at first sight.

    I've just come back from Poland - as a former Essex boy I was delighted to find the 'dark L' (or, as I'd prefer, 'the daaahhk 'ehhorwl' (say that last word really quick and it comes close) has a letter all (orwl) to itself.

    This reminds me of a French report my Mum still has floating around somewhere from 35 years ago...'Mark, though possessing a grasp of the rudiments of French grammar, has no pretensions as a speaker of the language' :smile:
  • Is it the mountains? I'm not sure how far up the coast South Walian Welsh goes - does it get past Aberystwyth?

    Well, Pennal on the Dyfi between Aberdyfi and Machynlleth lays claim to be on the 'boundary' between North and South Wales. I'd have it down as Mid-Wales myself ...

    You could even have your say here:

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/fun-stuff/dividing-line-between-north-south-10819744

    To all practical intents and purposes, I divide Wales in my own mind-map into:

    South East Wales (Gwent - now Monmouthshire and Torfaen etc - and half of Glamorgan)
    South West Wales (From around Port Talbot westwards)
    Mid-Wales (a polo mint apart from Builth and Llandrindod Wells and Aberystwyth)
    North East Wales (from the English border to Conwy)
    North West Wales (from Conwy to Bardsey Island and down to Machynlleth)

  • I've heard the dividing line put somewhere around Machynlleth, which I think of as North being not far from Cadair Idris.

    Mid-Wales is of course very sparsely populated which might accentuate the divide between North and South because they do actually fade into each other.

    Sometimes it's made too much of. These days speakers know the forms used in other dialects even if they don't use them themselves. Might be more interesting on the phone, especially with someone from darkest Pembrokeshire where the Welsh is notoriously - variant.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    S Wales Llaeth for milk; N Wales Llefrith. One of the words also means buttermilk in the *other* dialect but I can't remember which way round.

    S Wales folk are known as Hwntws - apparently meaning "them over there".

    As regards the SE, the Gwentian dialect is alas pretty much extinct; Welsh speakers in that area use more generic S Welsh.

    This may surprise, but S and N Welsh are at least as different in sound, syntax and vocabulary as UK and US English, despite the small size of the country. Enough so that you have to learn a particular one from the beginning as some quite basic words and phrases are different.

    The differences are such that I've heard of Welsh speakers in call centres in South Wales opting to take incoming calls from North Walians in English. Otherwise the calls take too long as each tries to figure out what the other is trying to say.

    Of course, in the other directions there are claims that Welsh speakers (of any dialect) can understand Breton. It's not true. Everyone knows that they could talk with the Breton onion sellers, but fewer realise that's because those onion sellers learnt some Welsh. Their heavily Breton/French accented Welsh sounded foreign enough for people to think it was actually Breton.

    As a tangent to the tangent, there are in my experience two fields which tend to attract unlikely* claims like a week old apple core does wasps in August - human longevity and linguistics

    *as in make anyone who's actually studied the field laugh like a drain.
  • I've wondered how the American oil people handled their introduction to Aberdeen in the boom of the early 70s. Perhaps we can persuade North East Quine to post an answer in the Doric.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    S Wales Llaeth for milk; N Wales Llefrith. One of the words also means buttermilk in the *other* dialect but I can't remember which way round.

    S Wales folk are known as Hwntws - apparently meaning "them over there".

    As regards the SE, the Gwentian dialect is alas pretty much extinct; Welsh speakers in that area use more generic S Welsh.

    This may surprise, but S and N Welsh are at least as different in sound, syntax and vocabulary as UK and US English, despite the small size of the country. Enough so that you have to learn a particular one from the beginning as some quite basic words and phrases are different.

    The differences are such that I've heard of Welsh speakers in call centres in South Wales opting to take incoming calls from North Walians in English. Otherwise the calls take too long as each tries to figure out what the other is trying to say.

    Of course, in the other directions there are claims that Welsh speakers (of any dialect) can understand Breton. It's not true. Everyone knows that they could talk with the Breton onion sellers, but fewer realise that's because those onion sellers learnt some Welsh. Their heavily Breton/French accented Welsh sounded foreign enough for people to think it was actually Breton.

    As a tangent to the tangent, there are in my experience two fields which tend to attract unlikely* claims like a week old apple core does wasps in August - human longevity and linguistics

    *as in make anyone who's actually studied the field laugh like a drain.

    I was a lecturer in linguistics, and you had to ignore the daft stories about language in the media, although they are interesting in a way as showing the rampant snobbery and phoney scholarship which surrounds language.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    S Wales Llaeth for milk; N Wales Llefrith. One of the words also means buttermilk in the *other* dialect but I can't remember which way round.

    S Wales folk are known as Hwntws - apparently meaning "them over there".

    As regards the SE, the Gwentian dialect is alas pretty much extinct; Welsh speakers in that area use more generic S Welsh.

    This may surprise, but S and N Welsh are at least as different in sound, syntax and vocabulary as UK and US English, despite the small size of the country. Enough so that you have to learn a particular one from the beginning as some quite basic words and phrases are different.

    The differences are such that I've heard of Welsh speakers in call centres in South Wales opting to take incoming calls from North Walians in English. Otherwise the calls take too long as each tries to figure out what the other is trying to say.

    Of course, in the other directions there are claims that Welsh speakers (of any dialect) can understand Breton. It's not true. Everyone knows that they could talk with the Breton onion sellers, but fewer realise that's because those onion sellers learnt some Welsh. Their heavily Breton/French accented Welsh sounded foreign enough for people to think it was actually Breton.

    As a tangent to the tangent, there are in my experience two fields which tend to attract unlikely* claims like a week old apple core does wasps in August - human longevity and linguistics

    *as in make anyone who's actually studied the field laugh like a drain.

    I was a lecturer in linguistics, and you had to ignore the daft stories about language in the media, although they are interesting in a way as showing the rampant snobbery and phoney scholarship which surrounds language.

    Yeah, most recent "interesting" claims I’ve seen

    "My mother could still speak Cumbric" - extinct by 1200 and about three words survive in the literature.

    "Welsh is derived from Arabic"
    - erm no. Just no.

    Not helped by all the people doing essentially Conlangs but implying they're reconstructions. Celtic languages seem to get more than their fair share of this.
  • It's fake etymology that I used to notice. H
  • Sorry, homophobia means fear. No.
  • Grew up on East Coast USA in an area where I said, winder, for window, and far for fire. I no longer do, but told West Coast hubby under stress it tends to pop out. So if I yell far, he better get out of the house.
  • Grew up on East Coast USA in an area where I said, winder, for window, and far for fire. I no longer do, but told West Coast hubby under stress it tends to pop out. So if I yell far, he better get out of the house.

    Then there's the story about the three fire fighters in the Manger Scene -- they'd come from afar/a fire.

    (I'll get me fire helmet.)
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    S Wales Llaeth for milk; N Wales Llefrith. One of the words also means buttermilk in the *other* dialect but I can't remember which way round.

    S Wales folk are known as Hwntws - apparently meaning "them over there".

    As regards the SE, the Gwentian dialect is alas pretty much extinct; Welsh speakers in that area use more generic S Welsh.

    This may surprise, but S and N Welsh are at least as different in sound, syntax and vocabulary as UK and US English, despite the small size of the country. Enough so that you have to learn a particular one from the beginning as some quite basic words and phrases are different.

    The differences are such that I've heard of Welsh speakers in call centres in South Wales opting to take incoming calls from North Walians in English. Otherwise the calls take too long as each tries to figure out what the other is trying to say.

    Of course, in the other directions there are claims that Welsh speakers (of any dialect) can understand Breton. It's not true. Everyone knows that they could talk with the Breton onion sellers, but fewer realise that's because those onion sellers learnt some Welsh. Their heavily Breton/French accented Welsh sounded foreign enough for people to think it was actually Breton.

    As a tangent to the tangent, there are in my experience two fields which tend to attract unlikely* claims like a week old apple core does wasps in August - human longevity and linguistics

    *as in make anyone who's actually studied the field laugh like a drain.

    I was a lecturer in linguistics, and you had to ignore the daft stories about language in the media, although they are interesting in a way as showing the rampant snobbery and phoney scholarship which surrounds language.

    Yeah, most recent "interesting" claims I’ve seen

    "My mother could still speak Cumbric" - extinct by 1200 and about three words survive in the literature.

    "Welsh is derived from Arabic"
    - erm no. Just no.

    Not helped by all the people doing essentially Conlangs but implying they're reconstructions. Celtic languages seem to get more than their fair share of this.

    You couldn't possibly be thinking of the farce that is going on in the South West could you?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    KarlLB wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    S Wales Llaeth for milk; N Wales Llefrith. One of the words also means buttermilk in the *other* dialect but I can't remember which way round.

    S Wales folk are known as Hwntws - apparently meaning "them over there".

    As regards the SE, the Gwentian dialect is alas pretty much extinct; Welsh speakers in that area use more generic S Welsh.

    This may surprise, but S and N Welsh are at least as different in sound, syntax and vocabulary as UK and US English, despite the small size of the country. Enough so that you have to learn a particular one from the beginning as some quite basic words and phrases are different.

    The differences are such that I've heard of Welsh speakers in call centres in South Wales opting to take incoming calls from North Walians in English. Otherwise the calls take too long as each tries to figure out what the other is trying to say.

    Of course, in the other directions there are claims that Welsh speakers (of any dialect) can understand Breton. It's not true. Everyone knows that they could talk with the Breton onion sellers, but fewer realise that's because those onion sellers learnt some Welsh. Their heavily Breton/French accented Welsh sounded foreign enough for people to think it was actually Breton.

    As a tangent to the tangent, there are in my experience two fields which tend to attract unlikely* claims like a week old apple core does wasps in August - human longevity and linguistics

    *as in make anyone who's actually studied the field laugh like a drain.

    I was a lecturer in linguistics, and you had to ignore the daft stories about language in the media, although they are interesting in a way as showing the rampant snobbery and phoney scholarship which surrounds language.

    Yeah, most recent "interesting" claims I’ve seen

    "My mother could still speak Cumbric" - extinct by 1200 and about three words survive in the literature.

    "Welsh is derived from Arabic"
    - erm no. Just no.

    Not helped by all the people doing essentially Conlangs but implying they're reconstructions. Celtic languages seem to get more than their fair share of this.

    You couldn't possibly be thinking of the farce that is going on in the South West could you?

    If you mean Biddulph's Old Devonian, yes. If you're referring to Cornish, no. There is a certain amount of bollocks talked, and some unlikely survival claims, not to mention exaggeration, but the mediaeval corpus and reconstruction is fairly sound. Certainly Glanville Price who was originally very skeptical (he got a lot of stick for coining 'Cornic' to describe the revived language) now takes revived Late Cornish quite seriously. The orthography wars were a bit daft though, and the whole tie-in to things like the Stannery Parliaments starts sounding a bit Freeman on the Landish in terms of claims of ancient laws no-one knows anything about.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    I thought this article, on the three main linguistic threads of modern English, might fit in with this discussion.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Indeed- interesting read!
  • There are a lot of nouns that are very similar in Welsh and Breton, which means I can translate names of Breton boats and sometimes small villages, for what it’s worth.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate, Glory
    ;) ...which means you can hail a boat, and tell it where to go? ;)
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Aravis wrote: »
    There are a lot of nouns that are very similar in Welsh and Breton, which means I can translate names of Breton boats and sometimes small villages, for what it’s worth.

    Yeah, but beware of ordering gwin coc'h in Brittany - gwin coch is of course red wine in Welsh, but coc'h, pronounced the same, in Breton means "crap".
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Spotted a new one today. In an American novel the main character is "embarrassed of her mother". I wondered if it was a typo, but the phrase was repeated several times. Is this common American usage? I would say "embarrassed by".
  • Another one is 'named for' where we Brits would say 'named after'
  • DafydDafyd Hell Host
    A very weird one to my ears is people who say glacier with a short a in the first syllable and vitamin with a short i in the first syllable.
    I think that's standard British English.

  • Spotted a new one today. In an American novel the main character is "embarrassed of her mother". I wondered if it was a typo, but the phrase was repeated several times. Is this common American usage? I would say "embarrassed by".

    I've lived in the U.S. all of my life -- first in the northeast and now in the southwest. I have never heard or read "embarrassed of."
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Spotted a new one today. In an American novel the main character is "embarrassed of her mother". I wondered if it was a typo, but the phrase was repeated several times. Is this common American usage? I would say "embarrassed by".

    I've lived in the U.S. all of my life -- first in the northeast and now in the southwest. I have never heard or read "embarrassed of."
    Ditto from the American South.

  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    The author is Ramy Vance. No idea where she's from.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Apparently he (sic) is a Canadian living in Edinburgh.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Ah. So is this Canadian usage then?
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    I always say "embarrassed by" but I have heard "embarrassed of" as well, so at least some Canadians use it.
  • I've lived in the U.S. all of my life -- first in the northeast and now in the southwest. I have never heard or read "embarrassed of."

    Following the pattern of "ashamed of"?

    Trudy - do you think the Canadians you have heard use it use it in place of "embarrassed by", or would they use both phrases and find a shade of difference in meaning between them?
  • I wonder if this is a so-called syntactic blend, whereby constructions take on characteristics of another one. The obvious example is "different than", which I assume is a hybrid from posssessives, e.g., better than. The obvious hybrid for embarrassed is ashamed, which usually takes of. This is not certain, but blends go on all the time.
  • No, I think I'm wrong about different than, it's been around a long time.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    edited September 2019
    I (UK) would say ‘different from’ in parallel with ‘to differ from’.
  • "Different than" is one of my grammar pet peeves.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    I (UK) would say ‘different from’ in parallel with ‘to differ from’.

    Yes, I was assuming that different from is traditional, but some books suggest that than is an old usage.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Dotting back to presses, did no one here air their bed linen in a hotpress?

    Hotpress? Never heard of it. We have an airing cupboard, a heated place with slatted shelves for household linens before they go into the linen press, a super-sized cupboard with trays for sheets, etc on top and deep drawers at the bottom for blankets and pillows.

    We were another hot press family. The water boiler happened to be in that cupboard, and as described it had slatted boards where we kept bed linen and towels. We're Northern Irish (with Southern Irish origins, too) but with some Scots - though not entirely sure which way we travelled originally, or if it was an alliance! We also talked about 'doing the smoothin'', when we meant 'ironing the clothes'.

    And I don't know why, but one of my grannies used to talk about 'pants' instead of trousers, and pronounced 'leisure' in the way the Americans do.

    Edinburgh seems to come out as 'Edinburra' in my native part of the world. And telling people to shut their 'gob' (mouth), sounds like 'gub' when we say it. An Ulsterman might also tell you to 'shut yer bake' (with the classic flat Ulster vowel, of course), and I presume 'bake' is a corruption of 'beak', again meaning mouth.

    'Losin' the bap' in NI is about losing your temper. And as already referenced upthread, 'goin' potty' meant you were being driven mad by something or someone.
  • edited September 2019
    Press and hot press are current usage amongst my in-laws in Dublin. One might put the messages (food shopping) in the press.

    Meanwhile in Essex we dried our clothes (pre-airing-cupboard :smile: ) on a clothes horse (sorry, 'orwse) whilst in these parts up here, they use a maiden.

    (If my Dublin rellies had a loose thread on their clothes, they might cut it off with 'a scissors'. Wierdoes).
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Dashing away with the smoothing iron is dated to 19th C Norfolk.

    My grandmother wouldn't have washed the dishes, but 'renched the vessels'.
  • Spotted a new one today. In an American novel the main character is "embarrassed of her mother". I wondered if it was a typo, but the phrase was repeated several times. Is this common American usage? I would say "embarrassed by".

    I have never heard anyone say it that way. We say "embarrassed by" in these parts.
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    "Different than" is one of my grammar pet peeves.

    Sounds wrong to me, too.
  • I’d say “embarrassed of” but I’m from Connecticut and we evidently have many strange items in our lexicons. Like package stores. No one else has package stores.

    Sigh.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    I'm starting to hear things like "embarrassed of" from my Junior Child. Bad things migrating from the Northeast?
  • Could be. I’m late twenties. Maybe a virus begun with us youngins in New England and is contaminating the language.
  • Little history behind the name place: Spokane, WA. Originally it was spelled "Spokan" but an early postmaster added the "e". Why? no body knows. Still pronounced Spokan by the locals. You stand out like a foreigner if you pronoun it with a long A.
  • Mispronunciation of placenames reminds me of the hoozler(!) created by the mini series 'The Thornbirds'. Set in Australia it featured an international cast, and was meant to be about a family who came from Ireland, who had named their house 'Drogheda'. Drogheda was woefully mispronounced 'Draw-geeda' every time this word was spoken, with the emphasis on the 'geeda'. It drove every Irish person who watched the series insane with annoyance! It seemed unbelievable that no-one had checked such an obvious simple thing as how to say one of the most important words in the script! Just in case you were wondering.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited September 2019
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    "Different than" is one of my grammar pet peeves.

    Agree. It's either different from or different to; never than.
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