FW: Nebraskans/Standard English

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 19 02:05:41 UTC 2002

Laurence Horn said:
>As it happens, a feature on Michael Jordan's return to Chicago to
>play with the Washington Wizards against his old Bulls on ESPN last
>night began with the reporter saying (against a backdrop of the
>Jordan statue in front of the United Center that Jordan "built")
>"HE'S BEEE-AACK", with a very exaggerated Northern Cities shifted
>/ae/ (as a diphthong beginning with a high front vowel).  It's  the
>same vowel, only more blatant, that Dennis Franz consistently employs
>as the Andy Sipowicz character uses as a supposed New York cop on
>NYPD Blue (others have pointed out that this character must have been
>transplanted to NYC from Chicago without retaining any conscious
>memory of his Midwestern roots).  Anyway, for the reporter in
>question--I forget her name--Northern cities /ae/ is a functioning

Steve Rushin's column in this week's Sports Illustrated (cover date Jan 21,
2002) has a similar Northern Cities awareness. The column is entitled
"Cheesehead Nation" and is about Green Bay Packers fans. It contains the
following description of one fan: "Van Nguyen is a Midwesterner by way of
Vietnam, from which he emigrated to Green Bay at age 15. Now 32, he speaks
in a disarmingly hard-voweled Wiscansin accent." (The "can" in Wisconsin is

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