Dialect awareness on commercial radio

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 20 16:22:34 UTC 2007

Are they native speakers of Elvish or of Elfin? Are the two one language or two dialects? Is one name patronizing? Offensive?  Are special symbols needed for Elvish/ Elfin phonology?
  Is Tolkien's fieldwork trustworthy?  Or is something else going on there?

  Endless questions....


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Dialect awareness on commercial radio

Wawa, a convenience store chain in the Northeast, is currently
promoting their holiday special, chocolate caramel coffee. (They
acknowledge it's "decadent", but their markets are in blue states,
after all.) The commercial spots they're running for this promotion
on the radio feature a song sung by their Merry Elves (no doubt
earlier laid off by Keebler), which is interrupted by the following
debate between two of the elves:

Elf #1, soloing on last line of song: "...with chocolate and caramel
Elf #2: "I think it's pronounced ['karm at l]."
Elf #1: "It depends on what part of the North Pole you're from."
Elf #2: "I grew up in the Toy District."
Elf #1: "I was raised by polar bears."
Elf #2: "Oh, *that* explains it."

Get those dialectological field research proposals in to the NSF
ASAP, before global warming!


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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