Jane Clark ucwords at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 22 01:32:58 UTC 1999

Yes, this is sad. It takes the fun out of listening to the Kennedys. But
those old tapes....

>From: Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Subject: Re: Kennedys
>Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 17:24:28 -0500
>>From my wife, Rene S. Mandel, catching up on a topic we were discussing a
>weeks ago:
> >>>>>
>I had a thought on this one.
>I have never heard a JFK accent on the street either. It is a combination
>of upper class Bostonian and the traditional Boston Irish accent.
>I don't think the young of the upper classes are permitted to have Boston
>accents anymore: we're all speaking mid-Atlantic now.
>There are still a lot of people of all ages who have Boston Irish accents,
>or variations thereof. But the ones I've heard on younger children are
>weaker, and tend to become very diluted by the time they leave for
>college, and lost once they get there. There are lots of people our age
>with such accents, but they're the cops and the firemen: a Harvard guard
>actually did tell me, once, "Ya cahn't pahk ye cah in Hahvahd yahd." Many
>of our generation, too, lost the accent in college.
>My friends from the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, who are
>all Boston Irish of a certain age, and many of the older people on town
>meeting, who have lived here for all their 80 years, have wonderful
>examples of _a_ Boston accent. But it is definitely working class, not
>patrician as JFK's was.
>For that matter, if you listen to Teddy Kennedy today, his accent is much
>less Boston Irish patrician than his brothers' were. And by the time he
>died, Bobby's accent was becoming more dilute, too. The accent doesn't
>seem to survive well when exposed to the other accents of the country.

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