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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #21 Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:52 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
Pirate's R


I've never heard this phrase but I assume it refers to the "ooo arrr" sound we make when imitating pirates. It would be interesting to know why we make that R association with pirates on both sides of the Pond. How do other languages imitate pirtaes?


From what I have read it comes from the accent adopted by actor Robert Newton when he played Long John Silver and Blackbeard in film and TV in the 1950s. Apparently he exaggerated his own West Country British accent. Both the historical Blackbeard and the fictional Long John Silver were from that area. :)

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Post #22 Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:35 am 
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From what I have read it comes from the accent adopted by actor Robert Newton when he played Long John Silver and Blackbeard in film and TV in the 1950s. Apparently he exaggerated his own West Country British accent. Both the historical Blackbeard and the fictional Long John Silver were from that area. :)


Now that's interesting! And as it happens, there was a new episode of a popular programme on British tv this week (Secret Scotland, with Susan Calman - highly recommended) in which the real inspiration of Treasure Island was revealed. I believe one or more Caribbean islands claim the distinction but now Edinburgh claims it. The tiny isle of Fidra in the Firth of Forth was the Scottish Alcatraz (but with an even grimmer prison, apparently). I'd half suspect this as a piece of cultural re-appropriation on behalf of the tourist industry, except that the island is now a bird sanctuary. And Stevenson was, after all, an Edinburgh man.

I mentioned Kevin Hughes in a previous post. He made a nice and true observation. To most Scots if you are from, say, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, or Inverness you are called a Glaswegian, Dundonian, Aberdonian or Invernessian. But if you are from Edinburgh you are a "**** fae Edinburgh" (fae = from). To be fair, most people in Edinburgh don't like the "official" term Edinburghers because it descends too easily into Edinbuggers - not to mention the fast-food connotations. I think their favoured term might be "NOT Glaswegians."


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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #23 Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:13 pm 
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I say "rowt". My first 10 years were in Minnesota, then I spent over a decade in Pennsylvania.

I don't remember where I read it, but I was reading something about networking. The author said the network device is pronounced "root-er". A "rowt-er" is a woodworking tool, he said. I disagreed. A "root-er" is a fan cheering a team at a sporting event, or a device for clearing drain lines.

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #24 Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:24 am 
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It's got little more entangled.

The word keeps coming up on Chicago PD and a typical usage is "en route" which (so far) has always been pronounced "on rowt", which seems a bit illogical to me. If you are trying to sound French by saying "on", you should continue in the same vein and say "root".

As to "router", over here I have only ever heard root-er, even among those misguided souls who try to ape Americans (why????) and say things like "a to zee" instead of "a to zed" or mix up "bring " and take".

But another either/or came up last night in the same programme (yes, programme) and that was when an all-American cop said "towards" instead of "toward". That's not the first time I've heard that, and the -wards words do have an extra later of grammatical complexity, which I don't think we need to go into.

A slightly different example (same programme) is that the cops are now often referring to themselves as "coppers", which seems to be the standard British now, although when I was young "bobbie" was the usual term, and is still heard. I have no recollection of ever hearing "coopers" from US mouths before, and is the sort of thing I'd notice.

Among various possible explanations, two dominate for me.

One is that Americans are now hearing more British speech now, either through films, tv or travel, and are picking up favourites. The other is that actors who I assume are American are actually British, and despite their skills with accents, certain ingrained speech habits still filter through.

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Post #25 Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:47 am 
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From Canada here. My wife and I were chatting about this yesterday. We realized that we pronounce route differently depending on the part of speech: "root" as a noun (except for an Internet rowter) but "rout" as a verb.

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Post #26 Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:10 am 
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In Belgium, where my half speaks Dutch (the language of the Netherlands, of course), most tech words are borrowed from English.
Now, "o-u" in Dutch is a diphtong much like "ow" but in Belgian Dutch it's a flat sound, more like "arrrr" or "ohh". You would then expect we say "rowter" or "rarrter" but no, we say "rooter". That's because "a route" in Dutch is "een route" which we have borrowed from French. And there the sound is an oo. But then again, Belgian Dutch (Flemish, you know) speakers who are working in tech business, or young people altogether, say "rowter".

Clear?

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #27 Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:28 pm 
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When I was a kid, watching Saturday morning cartoons, it wasn't unusual for a bad guy to refer to police as "copper(s)".

I suspect Americans started using the word "cop" without the negative connotation because it was easier than "police officer" when "Patrolman" or "Policeman" were being panned for being sexist.

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Post #28 Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:55 pm 
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I do not know the full history of the use of "copper" for police in the U.S. but it famously goes back to at least 1931. Public Enemy

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #29 Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:37 am 
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From the etymology dictionary ( https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=cop )

cop (n.)

"policeman," 1859, abbreviation (said to be originally thieves' slang) of earlier copper (n.2), which is attested from 1846, agent noun from cop (v.) "to capture or arrest as a prisoner."

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #30 Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:26 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
It's got little more entangled.

The word keeps coming up on Chicago PD and a typical usage is "en route" which (so far) has always been pronounced "on rowt", which seems a bit illogical to me. If you are trying to sound French by saying "on", you should continue in the same vein and say "root".

As to "router", over here I have only ever heard root-er, even among those misguided souls who try to ape Americans (why????) and say things like "a to zee" instead of "a to zed" or mix up "bring " and take".

But another either/or came up last night in the same programme (yes, programme) and that was when an all-American cop said "towards" instead of "toward". That's not the first time I've heard that, and the -wards words do have an extra later of grammatical complexity, which I don't think we need to go into.

A slightly different example (same programme) is that the cops are now often referring to themselves as "coppers", which seems to be the standard British now, although when I was young "bobbie" was the usual term, and is still heard. I have no recollection of ever hearing "coopers" from US mouths before, and is the sort of thing I'd notice.

Among various possible explanations, two dominate for me.

One is that Americans are now hearing more British speech now, either through films, tv or travel, and are picking up favourites. The other is that actors who I assume are American are actually British, and despite their skills with accents, certain ingrained speech habits still filter through.


Copper was certainly used in American films before the second world war. In particular James Cagney used the term: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssdsftKZbcc

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #31 Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:54 am 
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Quote:
Copper was certainly used in American films before the second world war. In particular James Cagney used the term:


In those days Hollywood often used an artificial so-called mid-Atlantic accent, no doubt to pander to as wide an audience as possible. I'd be a bit surprised if Cagney was not using a real US accent, at least as a gangster, but perhaps writers, too, tried to straddle the Pond? We see a variation of that now in British-made films and tv programmes where writers try to insert Americanisms like 'gotten' to widen their markets. I object, not because it's American but because it sounds so artificial. I'd like to think Americans would object, too, on the additional ground that it is being assumed they are ignorant.

I see the OED says copper is "Brit. informal", which I had assumed anyway. We use the verb cop (=catch) quite widely and I'm not aware that Americans do.

More on the "route" and "en route" - I got yet another variation on Chicago PP last night: "enn rowt" as opposed to the previous "on rowt". Why don't they just say "I'm on my way?" It's like "I've got eyes on him" instead of "I can see him". Along with "copy that" and "affirmative", is this all supposed to convey a tough-guy military flavour among cops? If so, it seems to me they could do with a change of PR consultants in the light of recent events.

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #32 Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:36 pm 
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Not a quote, but ...

Cleaner Clara Clifford claims Cleveland kleptomaniac Claude Cooper copped clean copper clappers kept in a closet.


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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #33 Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:52 pm 
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pwaldron wrote:
From Canada here. My wife and I were chatting about this yesterday. We realized that we pronounce route differently depending on the part of speech: "root" as a noun (except for an Internet rowter) but "rout" as a verb.


As in, "The Rout of the White Hussars"?

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #34 Posted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:02 pm 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
I see the OED says copper is "Brit. informal", which I had assumed anyway. We use the verb cop (=catch) quite widely and I'm not aware that Americans do.


My sense of cop as a verb has the connotation of taking or grabbing something without permission or that you are not supposed to.

Quote:
More on the "route" and "en route" - I got yet another variation on Chicago PP last night: "enn rowt" as opposed to the previous "on rowt". Why don't they just say "I'm on my way?"


Another quirk of my dialect. When I was growing up people mostly pronounced route by itself as rout, but en route as on root. Perhaps because of the proximity to Louisiana. Despite being a French phrase it was not a marker of class or education.

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #35 Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:17 am 
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Another difference resurfaced for me yesterday. Not a pronunciation thing this time, but a vocabulary item.

Not having been into central London for best part of a year now, I haven't been to a coffee shop. Before then there was a conversation I'd have in London several times a week: "Cappuccino, please." "Regular or large?" "Small, please." (And that was it: I'd get what I wanted.)

I was reminded of it yesterday because I went for a walk in a local park where there is a small café. I (very apprehensively) ordered a mocha and got the usual "regular or large?". No doubt because of the frustrations of lockdown, I didn't utter "small" as the usual reflex action but did something that, I imagine, showed up as a flash of indignation. I got small without having to say anything.

Very often, though, 'regular' is much more likely to give me a fit of giggles than dyspepsia. If someone is introduced to me as a "regular guy" my reflex thought is to imagine him doing his bowel movements at the same time each day. (Doctors here say things like, "Are you regular?")

However, I must admit we don't seem to have a good Britism for 'regular guy' in the American sense. I'd be inclined to say it varies according to dialect (I'd say "he's a canny lad"), but more often than not I think we feel the urge to give a mini-speech: "He's a pretty decent bloke. Plays beginners at the go club. Got a dog. American, but he hasn't got constipation."

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #36 Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:53 am 
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Como esta usted?

Regular, gracias.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #37 Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:07 am 
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Another pronuciation foible came to may attention watching a TED talk last night.

I am aware that missile tends (strongly) to be pronounced like missal in the States but some speakers do make it rhyme with style in the standard British way.

But through watching documentaries and TED talks as opposed to the usual Hollywood action-movie diet, I am hearing more and more of the style rhyme in various words by American speakers. The one that caught my attention last night was 'versatile'.

What's the feeling of American members on this difference? Given that I'm hearing -yle mostly from academics and the like, as opposed to movie stars, I'm wondering if it's seen as a sign of educational status.

Mind you, when I was young there was a lot of controversy about how to pronounce controversy, but that's died away completely as far as I can tell, even while both pronunciations are still current. We all clearly care about these things less nowadays in the global village. I think the only one I personally care about now is frustrated. Americans stress the -u-, we stress the -a-. For reasons I don't understand I get uniquely frustrated by that.

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Post #38 Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:01 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Another pronuciation foible came to may attention watching a TED talk last night.

I am aware that missile tends (strongly) to be pronounced like missal in the States but some speakers do make it rhyme with style in the standard British way.

But through watching documentaries and TED talks as opposed to the usual Hollywood action-movie diet, I am hearing more and more of the style rhyme in various words by American speakers. The one that caught my attention last night was 'versatile'.

What's the feeling of American members on this difference? Given that I'm hearing -yle mostly from academics and the like, as opposed to movie stars, I'm wondering if it's seen as a sign of educational status.


Judging only from my own experience, when I was a kid I learned a lot of words through reading, without ever hearing them pronounced. This led to some pronunciations that were unusual among other speakers of my dialect. If I had first learned versatile through reading at age 6 or 7, I would have followed the rule for pronouncing the tile as in reptile (in our dialect). I doubt if that pronunciation is taken as a marker of educational status, but it may be the result of doing a lot of reading at an early age. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Route or route?
Post #39 Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:45 am 
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As a non-english native I know about the two pronunciations for missile through movies, series and stuff but never heard the american (?) pronunciation of versatile - had to check just now and it sounded very strange to me. Interesting stuff.

Then again, back in my school days we aspired to speak "the Queen's english" ("Received Pronunciation"). We should have cut our loses though after seeing our english teacher's failing attempt to be understood by a bloke in a London shop.

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Post #40 Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:57 pm 
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A couple of years ago, a guest on a radio program claimed half of Shakespeare's rhymes don't rhyme, because pronunciation changes over the centuries. Although they did rhyme when Shakespeare wrote them.

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