Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 1652249 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3210 on: March 03, 2023, 05:08:14 pm »
Doncha just hate it when people say "nook-you-lar"?  ;D

Yes, I could never believe George Bush kept doing that despite undoubtedly being told hundreds of times that it was incorrect.

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I would never say "ima" (you mean using it as in "ima gonna go"?).

 :laugh: No, that's a fake movie Italian accent. The first time I heard of Ima was when Kanye West jumped onstage during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the Grammys maybe 20 years ago. (I didn't watch the show but heard about it later online -- I think he was arguing that Beyonc? should have won.) When quoting him, people spelled it "Ima" and of course that's how he pronounced it.

Of course that was back when it was respectable to repeat something Kanye said, but I thought Ima was kind of a fun way to say it, so every now and then I do it consciously. Normally I'd say "I'm gonna." Or maybe more like "Mgonna" or even "Ngonna."

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Beyond that, I'd say it depends on the situation. When I speak, "kind of" frequently comes out as something like "kindev." (I'm not sure how to spell that to get the sound across.) And then again it sometimes does come out sounding like "kinda." Similarly, "must have" comes out like a contraction: "must'ev." "Going to" does come out like "gonna," or more likely "gunna," with a "u" sound.

I say "kind'v." If there's a letter in there at all it's ə.

This conversation reminds me of this funny bit by the comedian Gary Gulman (his standup special, "The Great Depresh" is great -- he's from Boston so if you guys don't know him, Paul must). This whole thing is pretty funny, and there's a passage in the middle about contractions specifically. He mentions "we'd've"!







Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3211 on: March 03, 2023, 05:49:44 pm »
Incidentally, tomorrow (March 4) is National Grammar Day.

https://www.wikidates.org/holiday/national-grammar-day_691.html

Somebody in my company posted an article about it on our intranet, but, unfortunately, I can't find it.

He listed several books about grammar, but, in my view, he committed the unpardonable sin of omitting Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, by Lynne Trusse.

I must have gotten rid of my copy because I can't find it.  :'(
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Offline southendmd

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3212 on: March 03, 2023, 06:08:46 pm »


Unless, of course, you're from New England. Then it's Wustah. Ain't that right, Paul?

You bet it is!  The minor league team for the Red Sox used to be in Pawtucket, RI.  They were called the "Paw Sox".  However, Pawtucket lost out to Worcester (cuz they built a better stadium).  So, whadya gonna call 'em?  The "Wo Sox", prounounced "whoah".  Gotta love New England.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3213 on: March 03, 2023, 06:15:13 pm »
He listed several books about grammar, but, in my view, he committed the unpardonable sin of omitting Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, by Lynne Trusse.

Although isn't that technically about punctuation? Or do you feel punctuation is a subset of grammar?



Offline southendmd

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3214 on: March 03, 2023, 06:16:37 pm »
Katy, no, I've never heard of Gary G.  But it was kinda funny.  I liked the conTRACtor/CONtractor thingie. 

Here's a weird New Englandism:  Let's say you said you went skiing in New Hamster.  If I also went there, I'd reply: "so didn't I".  I know it sounds strange, but it comes very naturally.  It simply means "me too".  I think Way with Words radio show did a piece on that; I should look it up. 

Offline southendmd

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3215 on: March 03, 2023, 06:24:14 pm »
I love Eats Shoots and Leaves.  There's another good 'un called Have You Eaten Grandma?: Or, the Life-Saving Importance of Correct Punctuation, Grammar, and Good English by Gyles Brandreth.

I came across another one that I have yet to read:  Between You and Me:  Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris.  And the sequel: Greek to Me:  Adventures of a Comma Queen.  Fittingly, she writes for The New Yorker.

Offline southendmd

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3216 on: March 03, 2023, 06:39:20 pm »
I found this on the grammarphobia blog:  (edited to add:  why is it when you copy/paste an article, BM fucks up the punctuation? Quotes and apostrophes turn into ???  I don't have the energy to edit this thing.)

Can ?so don?t I? mean ?so do I??
January 17, 2018

Q: There?s a grammatical quirk in northern New England in which a negative is used affirmatively: Example: ?I love it when the leaves turn in the fall.? ? ?Oh, so don?t I. It?s my favorite time of year.? Any ideas where that might have come from?

A: You?re right that this quirky use of ?so don?t I? is peculiar to New England. A native Bostonian would understand it immediately as meaning ?so do I,? while a Californian would probably hear just the opposite??I don?t.?

The linguist William Labov has said this use of ?so don?t I? represents a ?reversal of polarity,? a kind of construction in which ?negative comes to mean positive or positive negative.? (From his 1974 paper ?Linguistic Change as a Form of Communication.?)

Labov, an expert in the fields of sociolinguistics and regional variation, says the usage is common to eastern New England. It has also been called ?the Massachusetts negative positive,? and research has shown that it extends into Maine.

He and his colleagues conducted a study in which subjects were given this question: ?Somebody said, I like liver and then somebody else said, So don?t I. What do you think he meant??

A majority of those from outside eastern New England interpreted the answer in the negative: ?I do not.? But all the native New Englanders interpreted it as positive: ?I do too.?

As Labov notes, ?So don?t I has risen to the level of an overt stereotype in eastern New England.? However, ?most outsiders are puzzled by the apparent contradiction between the positive so and the negative n?t.?

The usage consists of the adverb ?so,? followed by a negative auxiliary verb (?don?t,? ?didn?t,? ?can?t,? ?couldn?t,? etc.), and a noun or pronoun subject.

It?s always spoken in response to an affirmative statement. And despite the negative ?-n?t,? the speaker is being affirmative too.

Labov notes a similarity with a ?tag question? that?s another form of reverse polarity: ?Don?t I though!?

Another similar usage has been noted by the Yale University linguist Laurence R. Horn. In Smoky Mountain English, someone who responds to a suggestion or invitation by saying, ?I don?t care to? actually means ?I don?t mind if I do? or ?I?m pleased to.?

As Horn writes, this usage is as likely as ?so don?t I? to be ?misinterpreted by outlanders.? (From his paper ?Multiple Negation in English and Other Languages,? 2010.)

Jim Wood, another Yale linguist, argues that there?s a shade of difference between a New Englander?s affirmative ?so don?t I? and a straightforward ?so do I.? A speaker who responds with ?so don?t I,? he says, is correcting an assumption.

In his paper ?Affirmative Semantics with Negative Morphosyntax? (2014), Wood uses the following exchange to illustrate his point. Speaker A: ?I play guitar.? Speaker B: ?Yeah, but so don?t I.?

Here Speaker A seems to imply he?s the only one (that is, in the relevant context) who plays the guitar. Speaker B?s response sets him straight, and can be seen as meaning ?It?s not true that I don?t play the guitar too.?

Wood, as a native of southern New Hampshire, has firsthand experience of the usage. He (along with Horn, Raffaella Zanuttini, and others) collaborated on a broad-ranging language study, the Yale Diversity Project, which researched several dozen usages in addition to ?so don?t I.?

The study found that ?so don?t I? had been recorded as far north as York, ME, as far south as New Haven, CT, and as far west as Erie, PA.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2023, 09:33:50 pm by southendmd »

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3217 on: March 03, 2023, 07:43:17 pm »
IDK, Paul, but that sounds like an excellent subject for a "Shouts & Murmurs" column! Or don't it? I'm confused.

The nearest thing I can think of is a Native American custom described in the film "Little Big Man" about an "opposite person" who walks backward, says yes when he means no, and that he likes something when he hates it, etc. The scene provided a bit of comic relief.

There was also a depiction of a Two Spirit couple in the film that was a bit overdone and comical but also insightful.

I'm also reminded of the story about the English instructor who was declaiming that, in English, two negatives make a positive, but "two positives never make a negative." From the back of the room was heard, "Yeah, right."
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Offline southendmd

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3218 on: March 03, 2023, 09:34:38 pm »
I'm also reminded of the story about the English instructor who was declaiming that, in English, two negatives make a positive, but "two positives never make a negative." From the back of the room was heard, "Yeah, right."

Love it!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3219 on: March 04, 2023, 12:24:12 pm »
Although isn't that technically about punctuation? Or do you feel punctuation is a subset of grammar?

He listed other books that according to their titles seemed to have more to do with punctuation than with grammar, so I added Eats, Shoots, and Leaves to the list.

If I remember, when I go back on the work laptop next week, I'll make a list of the titles.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.