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English has evolved more in England than in New England the past few hundred years. From what I've heard New England accents are closer to what English accents used to be than modern English accents are. Perhaps lox fell out of use in England but not here.

I have heard similar claims, but I think I wouldn't look to New England for that.

Example: Most English accents today don't pronounce an R if a vowel doesn't follow it ("non rhotic"). This is also true in accents of New York, New England, and parts of the US southeast.

However, a few hundred years ago English accents were all rhotic, like the majority of the US. I had heard somewhere that the non-rhotacism was actually adopted in the northeast and affluent south after it became popular in England and also after colonization by people who would have pronounced all the Rs. That is to say some well to do US accents kept up with changes occurring in places like London.

The R dropping accent in New England is limited to a surprisingly small group of people. Same with New York I believe.

Outside of some parts of Boston we pick up those Rs our friends drop and put them to use.

I grew up a few miles from Boston. No one had a Boston accent, save for people who moved from certain areas.

For me that is slightly disappointing, I find that there is some real character in that accent. From my (outsider's) perspective it is something classic to east coast American cities. An accent that brings forth unapologetic honesty and "bustin' your balls" kind of humour.

It's a social class marker; plenty of people have it, but if you're hanging around a college with a lot of upper middle class teeth gritting cheesebags and hangers on, you may never hear it.

I grew up with a western mass accent, which is a sort of lighter version of bahston with less non-rhoticity. I can turn it off, but lately choose not to, also for social class reasons.

I have an old relative who has the classic, very thick Boston accent. It is always fun to have her say, "park the car in the Harvard Yard", and she is willing to humor us. You are correct that most younger people don't, though some have a less significant one. Accents are disappearing among the young, which is somewhat sad, albeit inevitable. Newscasters never have an accent, most characters do not (and when they do, it's a "difference" of some sort), and people move around too much for them to survive. A Texas accent used to be John Wayne, now it is used on comedy shows to represent the "uneducated, fat, cousin-marrying red-neck bumpkin". At least we have recording technology now, so future generations can hear them.

I moved from the southwest US to New England as a child, specifically Hartford, Connecticut. I definitely heard this accent… ‘cah’ for car.

Accent is defined based on where you grew up from age 10-12.

Distinctive communities get broken up now and disrupted by media.

> Accent is defined based on where you grew up from age 10-12.

Not so. Maybe this is true in many cases, but I personally know of at least one outlier: a relative who grew up in West Virginia, lost her accent to work in radio and news, and when older re-married to a man from Texas with a heavy accent and developed one herself.

It is also the case that many people slip back into accents as they age.

I went to high school in the city of Boston with boys from all over the city. The different neighborhoods had different accents.

I think it's dying out and seen as less prestigious. Shame, because it sounds pretty cool.

Not just English in England wrt New England, but everywhere in the new world this is the case: Quebecois descends from an older form of French, Brazilian Portuguese from an older form of Portuguese (modern European Portuguese is insane to listen to next to Brazilian Portuguese), same for Spanish. The wonders of isolation!

Spanish also has interesting geographical stories alongside that narrative. Eg. Latin America lacks an /θ/ sound because the colonizers came from places like Seville.

The claim wasn't about New England English deriving from an older form of the language. The claim is that today's New England English more closely resembles that older form than today's England English.

Those aren't equivocal? We're just putting the emphasis on one end or the other it looks like

There doesn't even have to be an ocean in between countries - Modern Swiss German shares a lot more with Old High German than modern High German, since Switzerland didn't participate in many shifts (e.g. diphthongization) in pronunciation!

Weirder, after hearing Brits scoff at "Americanisms" for years I was pretty surprised to learn that 90% of them actually came from Britain. They even changed their accent late in the millennium. You can go to see Shakespeare in its original accent and it sounds closer to Welsh/Irish/American than the Queeen's English.

The more you know…

If you ignore Webster's aberrations - as every attempt to simplify spelling historically, has ended up complicating it, and he was no exception there... Like the 16th century attempt to simplify the language that had scholars adding letters so it was more internally consistent with Latin or Greek roots. Thus debt was created from det, doubt from dowt, scythe from sythe and hundreds of others, and a few got shorter - warre becoming war is the only one I can remember. The other reforms and "simplifications" weren't prettier.

A surprising amount of Americanisms, and even spellings - like recognize instead of recognise - not only started here, but were once preferred as more correct! It's only fairly recently that The Times - last 20 or 30 years - dropped "Oxford spelling" (As the OED goes that way too). Nowadays if you use that variant someone will inevitably cry Americanism. Web spell checker is, of course, whining about -ize above as it's in GB mode.

Yet it cuts both ways - there's a lot of real Americanisms that have been forgotten in the US and are never identified as such in the UK.

Got/gotten - British laziness or fashion decided gotten was no longer necessary somewhere along the line. Yet we still use forgot and forgotten. Go figure.

Given the sheer quantity of English that's been begged, borrowed and stolen from other parts of the world, I don't understand the singular picking out of Americanisms. Though the US "I could care less" clearly only makes sense as GB's "I couldn't care less".

Shakespeare's jokes and puns work SO much better in original pronunciation. Received pronunciation needs to die in a fire.

Peace. :)

"I couldn't care less" is the proper American form and the only form I heard growing up in the US. In recent decades, I have of course encountered the "could care less" form many times, but it's like "same difference" meaning "same thing": something that professional copy editors (which I used to be) will still probably repair unless it's being used to paint a picture of a character.

> every attempt to simplify spelling historically has ended up complicating it

Have you looked into Korean at all? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul is a quite remarkable success story in changing spelling with the aim of increasing literacy rates.


I don't know why some of us dislike 'Americanisms' so much. Some of it will just be resistance to change - the advent of the internet meant a fairly sudden exposure to written en-US.

Anecdotally, I'm the only one amongst my friends who cares about these things. The skyrocketing usage of Americanisms really grinds my gears.

Maybe after Brexit we'll get an Académie Anglais to settle these arguments for those of us who still want to speak the King's.

I think partially Daily Mail fake outrage, and as quite a few of our historic shifts in spelling and pronunciation have been for fashion or affectation, a degree of having another reason to feel superior to some other group. Not forgetting the old U, non-U garbage.

Course no one ever told the Mail that some of Webster's reforms and American spellings came from Shakespeare either. He was far more phonetic than modern spelling either side of the Atlantic - as was everyone back then. Then you discover Shakespeare's spelling wasn't even consistent with himself and used at least a few words both ways - color and colour springs to mind.

Surely it will be as successful as Académie Française has been preventing French adoption of le computer, le weekend and all the rest? ie not at all. :)

It's all a bit silly. No one yells Indianism, well Tamil, when someone talks of going for a curry, yet we probably acquired almost as many from India as the US.

Edit: Hadn't been aware of of that aspect of Korea - and that North and South hugely disagree on number of letters! Most extensive change I knew was Indonesia after independence, adopting Indonesian from Malay when there's hundreds of native languages, and most spoke something else.


Gotten is a perfectly ordinary word in Scottish and Northern Isles English.

And -ize is perfectly acceptable to many British English spell checkers. Unfortunately it seems impossible to find one that will reject -ise spellings when the -ize one is the more etymologically 'correct'.

For instance, I am using Firefox with a British English checker and it, correctly, allows "advertise" but not "advertize"; however, it also allows both "mythologize" and "mythologise" when only the first would be accepted in the Oxford tradition.

I'll be sticking with the advice in Fowler's Modern English Usage, Second Edition.

You just need to find en-GB-oxendict [1]. Oxford spelling is used quite heavily in academia so it ought to be easy to burglarise ;)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_spelling

Shouldn't that be burglarize? Except of course that in British English it would just be burgle.

Yeah - it was a joke :)

Hmm...somewhere in Scotland other than where I grew up. For me gotten only existed in US movies, and "I'll gotten gains".

Everyone seems to want the 50 year old Fowler's. :)

Interesting. My understanding is that -ize comes from the older Greek, while -ise is the French version. Which makes for a fun discussion when Brits claim it as their own.

There's a good wiki on the subject if others are interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_s...

See the article on "-ize, -ise in verbs" in Fowler's Modern English Usage, Second Edition, where he makes the point that it is the French who changed from -ize to -ise.

Yes, that was the point I was trying to make.

The other side this exposes to me is that America, in terms of its overall European-descended demographic, is more Irish, Scots, German than Anglican by far

One of my challenges learning Norwegian has been dialects. There is a "standard" written form. The dialects, however, might pronounce things differently, completely change a few words, or change the way you use or conjugate verbs. (Not to mention that there are 2 varients of Norwegian, but that's another story.). Immigrants are taught the straighforward version - an "Oslo dialect".

The reason for this is mountains and isolation. You get a few villages that interact or a region that does so, and it varies wildly over the years before television and radio. People have simply kept the dialects in the modern age. Some are harder for native Norwegians than others, but supposedly they should all be understood.

No, this isn't true at all and is a complete oversimplificiation. The whole rhotic 'R' is just one small part of an accent. Secondly, what is 'a British accent'? They change so often over here.

It's just one of those 'facts' that seems sensible until you think about it a little bit.

Trying to define one English accent now or even 200 years ago is futile.

Appalachian English dialects in the US are supposed to be closest to those of London at the time of American colonization. Lox is a yiddish word, though, and while it may phonetically be widespread (as the article claims), the spelling and exact pronunciation in modern English likely spread with German Jewish immigrants. That's particular true in the northeastern US. The parent commenter was unfamiliar with the term, but anyone who grew up around New York would be familiar with it as a common deli item.

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