The changes just keep on coming.

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Thu Oct 20 17:24:08 UTC 2005

On the topic of observed language evolution, though a totally different

There are a number of Indian-derived place names around the Northwest that
are (or were, in the good old days when people spoke correctly) pronounced
with a final -aw.  The only examples that come to mind at the moment are
Yakima, Washington, and the Umpqua River in Oregon, but there are others.
I first noticed, to my annoyance, that transplants who had moved here to
become local TV newscasters were pronouncing these names with a
zero-stressed schwa on the end instead of the "correct" secondary-stressed

I happened to think of this during a college trip with two colleagues of
about my age and some students, and asked them how they pronounced the name
of that city in Washington.  My contemporaries (both long-ago transplants)
shared my -aw pronunciation, but the students (all of traditional student
age, all from the Northwest) uniformly said "Yakimah" (same stress
pattern).  So we seem to have a progression here, and no doubt the "dang
furriner" TV newscasters will win out in the end.

Peter Mc.

--On Tuesday, October 18, 2005 2:50 PM -0400 Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>

> I've just heard someone say, "I love my boss depends on me."
> In my lost youth, people said things like,
> "I love the fact that my boss depends on me."
> With the passage of time, I noticed that people had begun to say things
> like,
> "I love it that my boss depends on me."
> Since this is the way that it's said in a lot of foreign languages, I
> forced myself to become accustomed to it and even spoke that way
> myself, from time to time.
> Then people began to say, "I love that my boss depends on me."
> Well, language changes. What can you do? So, I went with the flow.
> But, "I love my boss depends on me"?!
> As the song said, "No! I can't go for that." Not that it'll do any good.
> Sigh!
> -Wilson Gray

Peter A. McGraw       Linfield College        McMinnville, Oregon
******************* pmcgraw at ****************************

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