Monthly Archives: October 2011

‘Aunt’ in a New England Accent

Like many New Englanders, I pronounce ‘aunt’ with a broad-a (i.e. the vowel in ‘father’). This is one of several ways the New England accent retains a linguistic connection to its semi-namesake (for most other Americans, ‘aunt’ and ‘ant’ are homophones). … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , | 33 Comments

The Rise of ‘Be Like’

We dialect nuts scrutinize features of individual dialects, while perhaps ignoring features emerging in many dialects simultaneously.  One of these is the meteoric rise of the phrase ‘be like‘ in many types of English.  You may not recognize what these … Continue reading


Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | 29 Comments

American Ash

It’s time for us to talk about ash. ‘Ash’ refers not to the product of burnt charcoal, but rather the ‘short-a’ vowel symbolized by æ in the International Phonetic Alphabet.  In both the British Received Pronunciation and General American dialects of English, this … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 36 Comments