at what point in history do you think americans stopped having british accents
Actually, Americans still have the original British accent. We kept it over time and Britain didn’t. What we currently coin as a British accent developed in England during the 19th century among the upper class as a symbol of status. Historians often claim that Shakespeare sounds better in an American accent.
Given that Britain has a bunch of different accents and none of them sound American, I call bullshit.
Except it’s totally true. The British accent was influenced by the influx of European art and music in the late 1700s, early 1800s, so the ‘posh’ accent adopted rounder vowels more reminiscent of, say, Italian opera, and they started to drop their Rs. This influence in America can still be heard in the parts of the US that most closely resembled the old estates of the UK of that time period - the ‘Old South’ still has softer Rs and rounder vowels than most of the US. (Well, I declayah!) Boston, similarly, has dropped Rs (cahs instead of cars), probably because New England was another hub of wealthy British influence? The rest of America, though, continued pronouncing Rs, and they sound closer to the rhotic speakers of the UK like Scottish, Irish, and rural accents. If you listen to a light Scottish accent with the Rs still pronounced, you can hear the similarity to American English. Check it out. ^_^
Only it’s not true at all.
Sir Trevor Nunn, a director, decided this after he worked with Kevin Spacey.
Now, the Shakespearean scholar John Barton has suggested that Shakespeare’s accent would have sounded to modern ears like a cross between a contemporary Irish, Yorkshire and West Country accent. I’m more inclined to believe him.
The thing is that Shakespeare died almost 400 years ago and his accent doesn’t actually exist any more, so it’s kind of a moot point.
Work by linguistics prof. David Crystal suggests the ‘Shakespearean’ accent sounded most similar to the Cornish accent today. This accent draws some parallels with some modern U.S. dialects, but it’s not ‘the same’. On the other hand, a lot of more regional British accents that sound nothing like anything heard in the States, or features of them at least, date back to way before we colonised America.
Nothing’s ever particularly cut-and-dry in historical linguistics, but it’s super fun to dig around for clues. If there’s anything that SHOULDN’T be boiled down to a “Yes it is!” “No it isn’t!” affair, it’s this.
But, you know, trust Tumblr.
in the future the whole “astronaut/cosmonaut” distinction will be one of those little linguistic oddities that show up on trivia cards and on 22nd century family game night everyone will have a good hearty chuckle at the silly names we used to call moonquistadors
Spoons and the Devil
french proverb that now makes me think of hannibal
Quand on dîne avec le diable, il faut se munir d’une longue cuiller.
If you are going to dine with the devil, you must have a long spoon.
When I saw this on my personal tumblr dash today, I immediately thought of a phrase in The Game of Kings that had never made sense to me, when Turkey Mat tells Will Scott to go back to his father:
"Home for you, laddie: home!" said he. "You’ll need a longer spoon than the cutlers make to sup with this one."
Perhaps implying that, while Lymond is a devil, Will Scott cannot keep up with his depravity? Thoughts?
(I love it when unrelated things pop up in life and illuminate some obscure point of Dunnett.)
i’ve been reading the lymond books for nigh-on a decade now and i’m still GOBSMACKED by the RIDICULOUS OBSCURITY of this reference. i could’ve gone my entire life without ever having picked up on this detail.
dorothy dunnet included??? a reference??? to a medieval french proverb??? without ever explaining the context??? I AM LEGITIMATELY SCREAMING INTO THE VOID HERE.
Anonymous asked: I've heard The Brick is better in French, but I certainly didn't learn French to read it. There are a couple of puns and songs that don't work in English, but my [English] version explains the French jokes in side notes and stuff. the editions are weird, though. mine is unabridged and it's still a pretty nice size and shape and not at all heavy, but I've seen some that are approximately the size and weight of paving stones. so...good luck.
i was definitely 100% kidding when i asked if i should learn french to read les mis. i am terrible at languages and would probably have to move to france for several years before i could even manage the first chapter.