Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Van Dyke Controversy

Disney’s 1964 Mary Poppins adaptation has been in the news lately, in light of both film’s 50th anniversary and Saving Mr. Banks, a new film about the contentious relationship between Walt Disney and Anglo-Australian “Poppins” creator P. L. Travers. Of … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

More on Young New Zealand English

Ubiquitous on the radio recently has been “Royals,” a minimalist anti-consumerist (I think) anthem by 16-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor). She been busy on the American interview circuit, revealing her non-singing, New Zealand-accented voice: Something that struck me about … Continue reading


Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Sick Speech

I had tonsillitis last week. Throat maladies tend to endow one with a strange temporary “accent,” and this one was no different; the illness rendered my voice unusually nasal in this case. Such an affliction contrasts with typical head cold … Continue reading


Posted in English Phonetics | Tagged | 3 Comments

“Nauseous” (Standard English’s Evolution)

“‘Nauseous‘ doesn’t refer to being sick,” my 9th-grade English teacher told his class. “It refers to something that makes you sick.” He sounded more apologetic than commanding; he didn’t seem to believe this “rule” any more than we did. Yet … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged | 16 Comments