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Why Do People in New Orleans Talk That Way?
Slate ^ | 9/8/2005 | Jesse Sheidlower

Posted on 09/10/2005 12:46:45 PM PDT by Mike Bates

If you've been listening to coverage of Katrina's devastation on the radio, you've no doubt heard the distinctive New Orleans accents of victims, officials, and rescue workers alike. Some of them speak with a familiar, Southern drawl; others sound almost like they're from Brooklyn. Why do people in New Orleans talk that way?

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: dialect; neworleans
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1 posted on 09/10/2005 12:46:45 PM PDT by Mike Bates
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To: Mike Bates

they're sober now...??


2 posted on 09/10/2005 12:47:40 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: Mike Bates

(GASP!!!) RACIST!!! LOL


3 posted on 09/10/2005 12:48:21 PM PDT by CAWats (I don't have any confidence in my ability to fail - Kenneth Copeland)
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To: Dick Vomer

They're lettin' Mary Landrieu do their talkin' for 'em.


4 posted on 09/10/2005 12:48:45 PM PDT by Mike Bates (Irish Alzheimer's victim: I only remember the grudges.)
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To: Mike Bates
This question, if asked about blacks, would be considered racist.

And since 80 % of New Orleans is black, one might conclude that it is, in fact, racist.

Or, at the very least, ignorant.

5 posted on 09/10/2005 12:51:07 PM PDT by airborne
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To: Mike Bates

I just heard one man on the Fox News say, "We want $20,000 f#@king now." I will let you guess the race.


6 posted on 09/10/2005 12:53:01 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Sneakypete, De Oppresso Liber)
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To: airborne
Or, at the very least, ignorant.

Read the story.

7 posted on 09/10/2005 12:53:34 PM PDT by Half Vast Conspiracy (The left won't be happy until Judge Roberts performs an abortion on the Senate floor.)
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To: Mike Bates
What kind of a question is that? Why do folks in the Carolina's speak the way they do> Why does anyone speak with a particular accent?

http://www.cofc.edu/~jacobsl/AmericanTongues.htm

8 posted on 09/10/2005 12:53:34 PM PDT by Banjoguy (I will rot in Hell before I buy another Dell!)
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To: Mike Bates

This is news?


9 posted on 09/10/2005 12:53:50 PM PDT by lonevoice (Vast Right Wing Pajama Party)
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To: GarySpFc
That's not exactly what he said (I was watching also), but I think you got the sense of it.
10 posted on 09/10/2005 12:55:01 PM PDT by Mike Bates (Irish Alzheimer's victim: I only remember the grudges.)
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To: Mike Bates

A lot of Italians from New York migrated down there around the turn of the last century. Ironically settling in an area called the Irish Channel..


11 posted on 09/10/2005 12:55:06 PM PDT by cardinal4 ("When the Levee breaks, Mama, you got to move....")
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To: Mike Bates
The Cajun accent does sound a lot like Brooklyn.
12 posted on 09/10/2005 12:55:18 PM PDT by Texasforever
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To: Mike Bates

Because they can.


13 posted on 09/10/2005 12:56:06 PM PDT by Prince Caspian (Don't ask if it's risky... Ask if the reward is worth the risk)
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To: Mike Bates
others sound almost like they're from Brooklyn.

They're from old neighborhoods that have the same ethnic (mainly Irish) makeup of many of the old neighborhoods of NYC and New Jersey and arrived in NO roughly at the same time. There's an explanation about this in the intro of the great novel A Confederacy of Dunces. I'd post it here, but I lent my copy out.
14 posted on 09/10/2005 12:57:26 PM PDT by Welsh Rabbit
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To: airborne

Oh come on now. It wasn't asked about "blacks". If you had ever been to NO, you would have known just what the poster was talking about. Having spent much time in New Orleans myself and on the phone with business people there, I always thought it was so odd that they spoke with a New Joisy accent.....or as someone else said Brooklyn? At any rate, there are all kinds of accents in south Louisiana.


15 posted on 09/10/2005 12:57:33 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: Mike Bates
Maybe the writer hears differently?

Like a north eastern urban white liberal with faux superiority showing.

16 posted on 09/10/2005 12:58:41 PM PDT by llevrok (Agassi Rules!)
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To: Mike Bates
Everyone sounds like 'The Waterboy'... and as if they're in the 'Bourbon Bowl'.
17 posted on 09/10/2005 12:59:49 PM PDT by johnny7 (“And now, little man, I give the watch to you.”)
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To: llevrok
Maybe the writer hears differently?

Funny, you mention that. Whenever I'm out of the Midwest, I'm amazed at all the people with accents.

18 posted on 09/10/2005 12:59:58 PM PDT by Mike Bates (Irish Alzheimer's victim: I only remember the grudges.)
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To: airborne

I don't believe he is talking about the blacks in particular. He is right, a lot of people in New Orleans do sound like they are from Brooklyn. I really don't know where that comes from. A lot of people in the area obviously have a French accent too.

I was watching a re-run of Charlies Angels one day that supposedly took place in New Orleans. Everyone had a heavy southern accent and there was a car chase scene in the mountains. So much for research!


19 posted on 09/10/2005 1:00:18 PM PDT by Ima Lurker
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To: Mike Bates
Most American port cities are something of linguistic "islands" because of the large volume of immigrants, both foreign and domestic, who settle there. In the case of New Orleans, there were large numbers of immigrants from Ireland, Germany, and Italy, three of the five main ethnic groups in pre-World War II New York City. (Jews from Eastern Europe and Protestant descendants of British and Dutch settlers were the other two.) With much the same people as settled in New York residing in New Orleans, it is understandable that there would be common elements in the local dialect.
20 posted on 09/10/2005 1:00:22 PM PDT by Wallace T.
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To: Mike Bates
Why do people in New Orleans talk that way?

Evidentally they do it to give people who obviously have nothing better to do with their lives some fodder for mindless topics to expound on.

21 posted on 09/10/2005 1:00:49 PM PDT by ShadowDancer (Stupid people make my brain sad.)
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To: daybreakcoming

Yes, I agree with you. Touchy, touchy! I lived in N.O. and also noticed the accent sounded similar to the ones in the Northeast. I was told that a lot of fishermen from that area migrated to Louisiana, thus the intermingling of southern, Cajun, and New England.


22 posted on 09/10/2005 1:01:17 PM PDT by rightazrain (Uh-til-uh's twin sister)
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To: Mike Bates

Think, James Carville. It is the strangest accent in America. I like it!


23 posted on 09/10/2005 1:01:23 PM PDT by fullchroma
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To: Dick Vomer

ROFL


24 posted on 09/10/2005 1:01:26 PM PDT by beyond the sea ("I was just the spark the universe chose ....." --- Cindy Sheehan (barf alert))
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To: Mike Bates
Thanks for the interesting article. I'm going to forward it to my father-in-law who has an old-school "Neu'awlians" accent. If you're interested in this sort of thing, you might enjoy the book "Frenchmen Desire Goodchildren" by John Chase.
25 posted on 09/10/2005 1:02:13 PM PDT by Melpomene
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To: fullchroma
Think, James Carville. It is the strangest accent in America.

And all this time I thought he talked that way because he was raised next to a nuclear waste site.

26 posted on 09/10/2005 1:02:28 PM PDT by Mike Bates (Irish Alzheimer's victim: I only remember the grudges.)
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To: Mike Bates
It's an identity thing, isn't it? I like the NO/Cajun accent ... I think it sounds cool ... except when it's coming from James %*#&ing Car-vile!!
27 posted on 09/10/2005 1:02:52 PM PDT by manwiththehands
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To: Mike Bates
There was a big Irish immigrant population.

Anne Rice has written about this.

So9

28 posted on 09/10/2005 1:02:55 PM PDT by Servant of the 9 (Those Poor Poor Rubber Cows)
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To: airborne; daybreakcoming

Sorry, Post #22 was meant for airborne.


29 posted on 09/10/2005 1:03:21 PM PDT by rightazrain (Uh-til-uh's twin sister)
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To: Mike Bates

There was quite a bit of Italian immigration into New Orleans in the 19th century.


30 posted on 09/10/2005 1:03:54 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (France is an example of retrograde chordate evolution.)
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To: Texasforever
The Cajun accent does sound a lot like Brooklyn.

Yea there one NO accent thats very Edith Bunker ...I'm not sure that necessarily a Cajun accent... they seem to have quite a few different one's down there

31 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:02 PM PDT by tophat9000 (This bulletin just in:"Chinese's Fire Drill's" will now be known as "New Orleans' Hurricane Drill's")
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To: Mike Bates

There are actually 6 accents in the NO area.


32 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:04 PM PDT by sgtyork
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To: Mike Bates

No. But that's why he looks the way he does. No explanation for the way he thinks, tho.


33 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:07 PM PDT by fullchroma
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To: Servant of the 9
And it's more akin to a Boston Southie sound than to Brooklyn.

So9

34 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:15 PM PDT by Servant of the 9 (Those Poor Poor Rubber Cows)
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To: ShadowDancer
Evidentally they do it to give people who obviously have nothing better to do with their lives some fodder for mindless topics to expound on.

And yet here you are stopping by to expound. LOL @ U

35 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:19 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: GarySpFc

He also said, " Give us what we effing deseve."

Cut my donation right in half.


36 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:50 PM PDT by mercy (never again a patsy for Bill Gates - spyware and viri free for over TWO YEARS now)
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To: airborne

And since 80 % of New Orleans is black, one might conclude that it is, in fact, racist.
------
Actually, when it comes to blacks, they speak many different accents ranging from the 19th century southern black-speak, still in heavy presence in most inner-city areas, to highly polished, proper English, both in dialect and content.

So saying what the article did, is not really racist because there is no SPECIFIC WAY THAT BLACKS TALK. They are as diverse as whites, and far more diverse than Hispanics.


37 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:51 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: manwiththehands
Corporal Cueball sounds better like this:

38 posted on 09/10/2005 1:04:55 PM PDT by Mike Bates (Irish Alzheimer's victim: I only remember the grudges.)
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To: GarySpFc
I just heard one man on the Fox News say, "We want $20,000 f#@king now."

I saw that too...FOX is now three-for-three in that department; obviously no delay in use with these little interviews.

39 posted on 09/10/2005 1:05:44 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Cindy, ya shoulda stuck with "offshore drilling" as your cause)
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To: All

The Brooklyn accent which you do hear in New Orleans talk was explained to me. It had been a question that lingered in my head for a decade after meeting a guy who I thought surely was a New Yorker but to my surprise he told me he was from N.O.

It has to do with the spread of a desease in New Orleans long ago. Perhaps early 1900s...the desease slips my mind but I'm sure a lot of you feepers know what I'm talking about. If not small pox it was something similar. Well, it killed off many people including much of the leadership in the Catholic Church so the Catholic Church imported much of its leadership, including nuns, catholic school teachers...etc. So, the accent caught on.
And that's how the Brooklyn accent came to New Orleans.

Strange, I saw nothing about this in this article.


40 posted on 09/10/2005 1:06:12 PM PDT by MaineVoter2002 (http://jednet207.tripod.com/PoliticalLinks.html)
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To: daybreakcoming
LOL @ U

That's charming. Did someone write that in your yearbook?

41 posted on 09/10/2005 1:06:40 PM PDT by ShadowDancer (Stupid people make my brain sad.)
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To: Mike Bates
This may help..and dilute the racial slants added to your query

http://www.geocities.com/tokyo/flats/4396/language.html
42 posted on 09/10/2005 1:07:45 PM PDT by vavavah
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To: Mike Bates

Don't let these guys give you a hard time. We Texans have noticed that they talk different too:')


43 posted on 09/10/2005 1:09:17 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Mike Bates

You want really, really strange English, try having a conversation with a South African....you know they're speaking the same tongue, but you can't understand a word of it.


44 posted on 09/10/2005 1:10:02 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Cindy, ya shoulda stuck with "offshore drilling" as your cause)
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To: fullchroma

You like James Carville? You are one sick dude, dude.


45 posted on 09/10/2005 1:10:38 PM PDT by PeoplesRepublicOfWashington (Washington State--Land of Court-approved Voting Fraud.)
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To: ErnBatavia

I have the same problem with some Irishmen, Barry. Hard to say where one word ends and the other starts.


46 posted on 09/10/2005 1:11:38 PM PDT by Mike Bates (Irish Alzheimer's victim: I only remember the grudges.)
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To: MaineVoter2002

Yellow fever I believe, in early 1900s.


47 posted on 09/10/2005 1:13:58 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: GarySpFc
I just heard one man on the Fox News say, "We want $20,000 f#@king now." I will let you guess the race.

What the hell? Reminds me of Bill Clinton when he was taking his last World Tour on our dime...their sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

48 posted on 09/10/2005 1:14:17 PM PDT by I got the rope
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To: Mike Bates

The people of New Orleans have their own language. Its tone, lilt, and slang are indigenous to this city and reflect its ethnic history and tradition. New Orleans is part of the deep south, but you won't find much of a stereotypical southern drawl; in fact, there are several distinctive dialects. One of the most surprising is a Brooklynese style heard in the 9th Ward, Irish Channel, and Chalmette sections of New Orleans. Little or no French is spoken by the majority of folks in New Orleans.


49 posted on 09/10/2005 1:14:47 PM PDT by daybreakcoming (May God bless those who enter the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day.)
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To: Mike Bates
"others sound almost like they're from Brooklyn"

I noticed that years ago. Someone from NO told me that in the late 1800's early 1900's they needed teachers and many of them came from New York City.

50 posted on 09/10/2005 1:16:05 PM PDT by TAdams8591
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