Monthly Archives: September 2011

20 Years of ADS’ Word of the Year

I went nearly this entire year ignoring an important milestone: 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of the American Dialect Society‘s selection of its “Word of the Year.” The list of words upon which the organization has bestowed the award reveals a … Continue reading


Posted in American English | 7 Comments

Yod-Dropping in American Accents

Of the many words that distinguish American accents from British, ‘tune‘ serves as a particularly good test. Many British accents insert a small ‘y’ sound before the vowel–resulting in something like ‘tyoon‘–whereas for most Americans, this word is homophonous with … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged | 69 Comments

Great Minds Who Kept their Accents

Open Culture posted a fantastic video of the late Arthur C. Clarke discussing the future.  The clip is remarkable for its prescience (Clarke seems to predict the emergence of the internet), and is fascinating on all levels.  Given my interests, … Continue reading


Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged | 29 Comments

On the Hunt for the New Orleans Yat

Some English dialects are so uncommon that they adopt the mythology of the Loch Ness Monster. One such dialect, unique the city of New Orleans, is locally referred to as Yat. It is renowned not because of how strange it … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 15 Comments