Pop vs. Soda vs. Coke

Mar 7, 2012 by

Several previous posts discussed differences in pronunciation, vocabulary and even grammar across dialects of American English. Which terms do you use: Sneakers or tennis shoes? Hoagie or hero? Dust bunny or house moss? Do you say...

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American English from sea to shining sea, part 2

Sep 30, 2011 by

In the previous posting, I’ve mentioned a number of lexical peculiarities of various regional American English dialects. Let’s now consider some pronunciation peculiarities. Take, for example, the name Mary, the adjective...

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How did they say it?

Apr 14, 2011 by

It is not difficult to find websites that offer recordings of historical dialects or even of long-ago dead languages. But how do we know how anything was pronounced in ages past? Unfortunately, there are only three reliable ways to...

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Russian on screen

Apr 5, 2011 by

To stay on the subject of language in films, I want to share a pet-peeve of mine: inappropriate or inacurate rendition of foreign languages in films. Typically, what catches my eye (or ear?) is “bad” Russian in American...

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Thus spoke Shakespeare! Or did he?

Mar 25, 2011 by

It seems to be a tradition with Shakespearean theater everywhere — even in the U.S. — to think that the bard himself spoke “BBC English” (also known as Queen’s English, King’s English, Oxford...

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