Standard US English Dialect?

Seán Fitzpatrick grendel.jjf at VERIZON.NET
Tue Apr 15 15:26:31 UTC 2008

David Bowie wrote:
<< And of course, in dInIs's own work (see "Where the worst English is
spoken"), you find that Washington DC does remarkably well in US folks'
ratings for correctness--so maybe this capital==standard (or at least nearly
standard) thing works in the US, as well.

David, who grew up near enough to DC to disbelieve that NYC's really as
important a city as it seems to believe

Well, it worked for London and Paris, dinnit?  When I went into the Army in
1966 I certainly encountered all sorts of outlandish sounds and usages,
notably the use of "would have" instead of the subjunctive mood in
contrary-to-fact conditional clauses.
The thing is, D.C.'s major industries bring all sorts of people from all
over the country and the world to live there.  Change "boroughs" to
"surrounding (Md. and Va.) counties", and the demurral could actually BE
about the nation's capital.

Seán (D.C. born and Chevy Chase bred) Fitzpatrick
No oil for pacifists!

From:    Dennis Preston <preston at MSU.EDU>
> Poster:       LanDi Liu <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>

> <snip>

>> As far as NYC middle class goes, that means very little as far as
>> accents go.  Because of the large amount of people that live in NYC
>> that weren't born there, and the fact that different boroughs in NYC
>> have different accents to begin with, and the fact that class and
>> accent aren't so easily correlated anymore, I don't think anyone could
>> say what a NYC middle class accent is.  So probably the people in
>> Japan and China (and elsewhere) think capital = standard.  Most people
>> think Beijing Chinese is standard, but that's a myth as well.


> Washington DC is the capital of the US, not NYC.

The American Dialect Society -

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