"saditty" and North versus South

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Tue Jul 29 15:16:20 UTC 2008

In a message dated 7/28/08 10:36:47 AM, gcohen at MST.EDU writes:

> As for the pronunciation, suh-DITT-eh, perhaps this is merely an altered 
> form.  Southern speech often stresses the first syllable (e.g., PO-lice, 
> IN-surance), whereas Northern speech stresses the second one (po-LEESE, 
> in-SUR-ance).  So maybe an original "SAT-iddy" (> SAD-itty) was transformed on Northern 
> soil to sa-DITT-ee.
As I recall, there is a general tendency in American English to shift stress 
to the initial syllable--that is, it is not just a North-versus-South thing. 
In Iowa in the 1950s when I was a lad, PO-leese was stigmatized ("plice" was 
the common folk pronunciation), but one heard "INsurance" and "ICE cream" in 
colloquial speech. I can't think of any instance in which a word with standard 
pronunciation on the first syllable shifted to the second syllable in colloquial 
speech in the North (or South). I've never heard SaDITTy, North or South, and 
would assume that it was a stunt pronunciation or joke if I heard it in a 
context where it seemed to mean 'Saturday'. 

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