Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some Housekeeping

Hi, friends and readers. I’d like to briefly apologize for being AWOL these past few days. After giving it some thought, I’ve decided posting will have to be light here these next two weeks. I have a move, a deadline for … Continue reading

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A New (Rhotic?) Dialect in New Zealand?

Needless to say, I was quite intrigued by this recent article at about a new urban dialect spoken in South Auckland, New Zealand.  A unique type of youthful, urban speech has emerged, not dissimilar to Multicultural British English in terms of … Continue reading


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-ness: A Darn Productive Morpheme

The English lexicon contains numerous nouns formed by adding the suffix ‘-ness‘ to an adjective: ‘weakness,’ ‘fullness,’ ‘brightness,’ and countless others. And at least in American English, we find creative new uses of ‘-ness’ all the time, which seem to be … Continue reading


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On Dictionaries & Pronunciation

The fine folks over at Collins contacted me recently about their online dictionary. It’s in beta, but looks to be an excellent addition to a growing body of online word tools. I recommend checking it out here. Anyway, this got … Continue reading


Posted in English Phonetics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 41 Comments

Happy Holidays!

Hey, all! Posting here has been a bit light due to the holidays. I’ll have a post up tomorrow. Till then, I’d like re-post something I had up here some time ago, this lovely ‘Night Before Christmas’ spoken in Jamaican … Continue reading


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Chicago [shi-KAW-go]

Some of the most intriguing dialect mysteries involve place names. One of the more peculiar of these head-scratchers is the local pronunciation of ‘Chicago.’ The Chicago accent, being affected by the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, pronounces ‘ah’ words with something … Continue reading


Posted in American English, Uncategorized | Tagged | 46 Comments

Leeds or Manchester?

Turning back to the world of accent minutiae, a reader emailed me with a conundrum regarding the difference between Leeds and Manchester accents. This concerns ‘punk poet’ John Cooper Clarke, from Salford in Greater Manchester: I like to think of … Continue reading


Posted in British English, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

How People Think They Make Sounds

When I was younger, I believed I made the English /r/ sound with my lips.  When I visualized this consonant, I pictured myself making a tight half-pout.  I saw /r/, in essence, as a more emphatic version of/w/. So it … Continue reading


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The Paths of ‘Geezer’

Something that’s puzzled me about the speech of young British co-workers is the term ‘geezer.’  In America, this word refers, impolitely, to an elderly man.  More accurately, I’d say it’s used more in theory than practice: it’s one of those … Continue reading


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When Twitter Words are Spoken Words

Since the dawn of the written word, great minds have noted the separation between spoken and written language. Yet with social media, we have perhaps bridged this gap. The conventions of texting, chatting, and emailing dictate a conversational tone, an … Continue reading


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