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Did Americans in 1776 have British accents? (Suprising answer)
Nick Patrick blog via Fark.com ^ | 10/09/2010 | Nick Patrick

Posted on 10/09/2010 8:08:47 AM PDT by prisoner6

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From someone's blog so take it FWIW, however it is sourced.

Something I've always wondered about, especially after all those Disney movies/TV programs from the '50's and '60's.

Both accents have obviously diverged. I wonder if we woould be able to understand our sncestors.

1 posted on 10/09/2010 8:08:53 AM PDT by prisoner6
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To: prisoner6

sncestors.

sncestors.

sncestors.

sncestors.

sncestors.

Does not compute. :O)


2 posted on 10/09/2010 8:10:45 AM PDT by library user
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To: prisoner6

Something like 7 generations seperated them from Britain. As I understand it, the colonists were considerably taller than the brits as well.


3 posted on 10/09/2010 8:10:48 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: cripplecreek
Rhotic speakers pronounce the ‘R’ sound in the word “hard.”

Pirates must be rhotic speakers.

4 posted on 10/09/2010 8:14:26 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: prisoner6

Sourced, but, if this hypothesis is accurate, then why was the dialog in Dickens’ writing praised for so accurately presenting the nuances of the various regional dialects (a skill he developed while serving in some capacity as government reporter, where he could tell the region of a speaker by the accent)? Those sorts of nuances don’t develop in merely half a century.

I’m not saying that this is not possible, it is. But it is far more likely that the early colonists spoke the English they came here with and that the “America” dialect commenced when immigration began in earnest and Americans had been here for several generations. Thus, it is far more likely that we did, in fact, diverge from the English accent into an amalgamation of dialects from various immigrant accents.


5 posted on 10/09/2010 8:15:43 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: prisoner6

I’ve always wondered about this. It isn’t like we have lots of .mp3 files of Washington giving speeches to his troops.


6 posted on 10/09/2010 8:15:48 AM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: glorgau

Arrrhh!


7 posted on 10/09/2010 8:16:58 AM PDT by RonDog
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To: cripplecreek
In WWI the British army found the height of the lower classes was 5'6” and the upper class was 5'9”, by WWII the difference had disappeared.
8 posted on 10/09/2010 8:18:10 AM PDT by razorback-bert (Some days it's not worth chewing through the straps.)
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To: prisoner6

this is one part of an accent....

saying Hard or Haaad

what about the rest of the accent.....?


9 posted on 10/09/2010 8:20:41 AM PDT by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: prisoner6

Can’t stand a Brit accent ... someone with a mouthful of marbles makes more sense.


10 posted on 10/09/2010 8:21:55 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Vaquero

In my opinion the Australian accent is converging with the American accent.


11 posted on 10/09/2010 8:22:34 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: prisoner6

I have always wondered the same thing. I always pictured the colonial era British sounding more like Charles Laughton of Captain Bligh, than Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits.

Looks like I was right.


12 posted on 10/09/2010 8:24:15 AM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: prisoner6

There’s a band of “r” coloring (”Rhoticism”) about 50 miles wide North to South that stretches from Baltimore to the Rocky Mountains ~ just listen to it when someone says “wash” (as in Warshington) or “squash” (as in Squarsh).


13 posted on 10/09/2010 8:24:28 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: prisoner6

There’s a band of “r” coloring (”Rhoticism”) about 50 miles wide North to South that stretches from Baltimore to the Rocky Mountains ~ just listen to it when someone says “wash” (as in Warshington) or “squash” (as in Squarsh).


14 posted on 10/09/2010 8:24:38 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: prisoner6

There’s a band of “r” coloring (”Rhoticism”) about 50 miles wide North to South that stretches from Baltimore to the Rocky Mountains ~ just listen to it when someone says “wash” (as in Warshington) or “squash” (as in Squarsh).


15 posted on 10/09/2010 8:24:48 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: prisoner6

I used to wonder about the quasi accents of women in old movies, ie 30’s & 40’s. I looked it up & found that in the day, acting schools taught a “mid Atlantic” accent that sounds like something of a hybrid.


16 posted on 10/09/2010 8:25:47 AM PDT by jazminerose
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To: cripplecreek

And with the increase in the Hispanic population, English and Spanish are converging in America. In a few decades I believe we’ll have a separate language called Spanglish. It’s already beginning.


17 posted on 10/09/2010 8:26:31 AM PDT by VA_Gentleman ("Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very internet you invented." -Jon Stewart)
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To: glorgau
Pirates aspired to be from the upper crust of England. A few even were.

So Bawney Fronk would've been Barney Frank had he been born in Iowa, which is still considered the center of the most proper Shakespearean English.

18 posted on 10/09/2010 8:27:36 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: prisoner6

I’d just like to point out for those I know who will say it is: It isn’t my fault.


19 posted on 10/09/2010 8:30:25 AM PDT by Darksheare (I shook hands with Sheryl Crow and all I got was Typhus and a single sheet of toilet paper.)
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To: prisoner6

So interesting. They are pretty rhotic in Northumberland. We had a great laugh with our B&B hosts - who told ME, “We enjoyed listening to your interesting accents.” (We live in Los Angeles). “Oh, no, Geoff, YOU have the interesting accent.” He also asked me, “What is that word ‘cute’ you used? I don’t know that word. I had told him his B&B was so cute. The next morning he said, “I found that word ‘cute’ — it is archaic!” “But it is alive and well in Los Angeles.”

So interesting, the English language. Thanks for posting.


20 posted on 10/09/2010 8:30:49 AM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: prisoner6

And we have the recordings to prove it???

;^)


21 posted on 10/09/2010 8:31:01 AM PDT by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty too! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: Vigilanteman
So Bawney Fronk would've been Barney Frank had he been born in Iowa

I thought it was Bawney Fwank??? .....in either case, Barney Frank would have been a bone smuggling, turd burgling Marxist no mater where he was born

22 posted on 10/09/2010 8:32:03 AM PDT by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

Don’t forget, tho — usually the ‘colonies’ have kept some of the old word/ old wayss. It’s true in Spanish, anyway.


23 posted on 10/09/2010 8:32:47 AM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: RonDog

Arrrhh, Matie!


24 posted on 10/09/2010 8:32:47 AM PDT by Sioux-san
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To: muawiyah

Don’t forget “earl” as in “I’m going to change my car’s earl”.

Frrrrreegarrrrrds


25 posted on 10/09/2010 8:33:27 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: VA_Gentleman

If something like that happens, it will be a mark of a lower class person, much like “Ebonics” today. I don’t see any movement toward “Spanglish” in the SW. Those who speak it are recent immigrants.


26 posted on 10/09/2010 8:33:58 AM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: prisoner6

Interesting.


27 posted on 10/09/2010 8:34:19 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (Armies that have and keep the initiative always win the battle.)
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To: cripplecreek
...the American accent.

Which one? If you put a Maine lobsterman in the same room with an Alabama sharecropper you'd have difficulty believing they are speaking the same language.

28 posted on 10/09/2010 8:34:35 AM PDT by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty too! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: cripplecreek

...and they had much better, whiter and straighter teeth than our cousins across the pond!

The Original GW made a deal with God. He said “I will wear wooden teeth if the rest of America can have great teeth”

So, today as a nation, we have the best smiles.....EVER!

True, there are random hot chicks worldwide that have hot smiles.... but as a rule.. Americans rock!!!!

:)

(and we have better haircuts too than our cousins!)


29 posted on 10/09/2010 8:36:01 AM PDT by SoftwareEngineer
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To: JimRed
Which one?

That question came to mind when I made my comment but I think various American accents are converging to some extent. The southern accent seems to be merging with the midwestern accent in my area.
30 posted on 10/09/2010 8:39:05 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Ransomed

Or Orl, as in Orl Well!


31 posted on 10/09/2010 8:39:15 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: library user
Let me try to help...it's called a TYPO...a simple, common TYPO, made by millions of typists and bloggers everyday.

ONE THEORY: The "a" key is right next to the "s" key on the typical QWERTY keyboard and it is very easy to strike the wrong key.

Another factor could be interruptions of the typist, like screaming kids, or the boss walking up behind them, maybe the person has some handicap, like missing fingers; or a malady like arthritis...there are simply lots and lots of reasons for typing errors. Sometimes it's even just a simple mistake.

People type seated in recliners, lying in bed, and even in McDonalds. The "prone" position for proper typing that I learned in 1962 in Mrs. Johnson's typing class using a manual Underwood typwriter no longer applies in this modern world of computers; we don't even use carbon paper anymore. My typing course lasted the entire school year, these days most students get maybe one quarter of typing instruction, if that.

Luckily, most intelligent readers on blogs and discussion boards can pretty much figure out what the typist was trying to say, or type, and look for the content of the message, and not the typing errors.

Others just look for typing and grammatical errors when they have nothing more relvant to contribute to the discussion or thread, but just want their name to appear somewhere on the page. These same people would probably never be so rude as to correct one's grammer or pronunciation if they were in an actual, live, conversation with another person or persons.

The good news is, the world will not stop turning and this board will continue to thrive even with the devastating misspelling of "ancestor".

My computer understood it just fine.
32 posted on 10/09/2010 8:40:18 AM PDT by FrankR (You are only obligated to obama to the extent you accept his handouts.)
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To: prisoner6
(Rhotic speakers pronounce the ‘R’ sound in the word “hard.” Non-rhotic speakers do not.)

As my lovely Southern Belle wife would remind me..."Y'all talk like a Yankee..


33 posted on 10/09/2010 8:40:30 AM PDT by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: cripplecreek
The settlers were not "separated" ~ the Brits continued to ship people into American EVEN while the Revolution was taking place!

Many Americans were proud to hear their children speaking perfect (for the time) English. For instance the earliest settlers of New Sweden didn't even speak Swedish ~ except for the 5 officers.

Their kids went straight from Sa'ami to English in three generations. That's probably why the "r" coloring is strongest today ~ right where the Sa'ami settled as they moved inland from the coast and its hurricanes.

34 posted on 10/09/2010 8:42:46 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: prisoner6

You can’t use Disney films. My Fair Lady was much better.

The rine in spine sties minely in the pline.

Rex Harrison plays a professor of phonetics Henry Higgins in the movie. We can always relay on actors that play roles for expert advice. Especially when they play the role of a expert.


35 posted on 10/09/2010 8:43:20 AM PDT by ThomasThomas (I still like peanut butter)
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To: prisoner6

This is all a bit oversimplified. Visit different parts of the UK, and you’ll find that pronunciation and accent vary by region and always have. Not everyone who immigrated the US or Canada came from the west end of London. It’s probably quite rare to find any 3rd generation or greater American who doesn’t have an Irish, Scottish, German ...or Scottish by way of Ireland, or French, or (name a nationality)... ancestor. The “standard” American accent is supposedly a Midwestern accent, but it’s “standard” in name only. Your accent has everything to do with where in the US you came from, who your parents were, and how much TV you watch.


36 posted on 10/09/2010 8:45:07 AM PDT by dr_who
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To: muawiyah

and there is fanger and wuhtuhr.


37 posted on 10/09/2010 8:45:08 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: prisoner6

I have often thought, and I do still believe, we got into our American accents by being taught to read phonetically…the one room schoolhouse as one advanced westward, etc. Hence, we became Rhotic speakers.

I think I will stick with that belief.

But an interesting article never the less. Thank you.


38 posted on 10/09/2010 8:45:21 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: prisoner6
What many Americans think of as “the British accent” is the standardized Received Pronunciation, also known as “BBC English.”

...which I doubt is "enforced" in any way. Listen to any streaming BBC service and marvel at the way different announcers talk.
39 posted on 10/09/2010 8:48:55 AM PDT by dr_who
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To: prisoner6

A side note.

With the dramatic advancement of technology over the past two decades, regional centers have sprung up to handle calls from consumers with respect to different issues involving different products.

When I have need to call a service center for a particular product, I have enjoyed hearing the varied accents from different regions of our country. On many an occasion, I have complimented the individual on the beauty of their accent only to hear a polite, “thank you” in response.

Not once have I heard, “I don’t have an accent, you do”.


40 posted on 10/09/2010 8:49:09 AM PDT by JohnG45
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To: muawiyah

Natives of the Outer Banks of North Carolina have a unique accent that sounds Elizabethan.
And they refer to us tourists as ‘off islanders’.


41 posted on 10/09/2010 8:49:18 AM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: Darksheare

Of course not. It’s all Bush’s fault.


42 posted on 10/09/2010 8:49:35 AM PDT by jazminerose
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To: glorgau

The Pirate alphabet is much simpler....mainly “eye” and “arrgh”.


43 posted on 10/09/2010 8:50:37 AM PDT by Eagle Eye (A blind clock finds a nut at least twice a day.)
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To: prisoner6

In 1991, while living in a Chinese City, a geologist from Edinburgh, Scotland visited our home. He had been out in the wilderness with Chinese geologists for some weeks, and was eager just to sit and drink tea with anyone who could speak English. When he heard about us, he ventured to our home.

We were just as delighted to have a visitor, and we listened to his accounts from having been in the field with Chinese scientists.

I finally had to tell him that I was amazed that his speech sounded more like a southern Virginian’s or like someone from Edenton, North Carolina, than what we expected a Scot to sound like.

He laughed and said that Englishmen used to sound like him, too, “300 years ago.”

Well, that Scot’s understanding of English accents fairly well corresponds with the information provided in this article.

It’s very interesting, and I will give this link to my son who is a linguist. We have talked about this several times.


44 posted on 10/09/2010 8:51:22 AM PDT by John Leland 1789 (Grateful)
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To: prisoner6

Thanks for the info. This was something I hadn’t read about, but kind of wondered about.


45 posted on 10/09/2010 8:52:25 AM PDT by ColoCdn (Neco eos omnes, Deus suos agnoset)
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To: cripplecreek
I once read an account from British soldiers, in this case leaving the field at Saratoga & marching past Gate's army which was lining both sides of the road, remarking how much taller the American soldiers were than they.

We ate alot better than the average lobsterback.

46 posted on 10/09/2010 8:53:38 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: glorgau
Pirates must be rhotic speakers.

Q. What is a pirates favorite article of speech?

A. A dangling parrrrrrrrrrticiple.

47 posted on 10/09/2010 9:01:30 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: prisoner6

Arrrrrrr!


48 posted on 10/09/2010 9:01:30 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 627 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: prisoner6

“New York and Boston accents became non-rhotic, perhaps because of the region’s British connections in the post-Revolutionary War era...”

But NOBODY understands what happened to New Jersey:)


49 posted on 10/09/2010 9:01:48 AM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: Let's Roll
What kind of accent is denoted by the pronunciation:

Pock-ee-stahn

50 posted on 10/09/2010 9:01:59 AM PDT by Let's Roll (Stop paying ACORN to destroy America! Cut off their federal funding!)
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