Colin Powell

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 9 00:31:08 UTC 2011

On 9/8/11 8:05 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> At 9/8/2011 02:50 PM, Alice Faber wrote:
>> And I think we've previously discussed on this list the (in)famous City
>> College speech screening and classes, even in my father's day, in the
>> 30's, more like what we might call accent reduction, though they were
>> tinged with a lot of unfortunate assumptions about what constituted
>> proper speech.
> Even in my day, in the 1950s, and at Columbia College -- although I
> was over the bar at the screening (despite growing up in the
> Bronx) and so cannot say anything at all about what the remedial
> classes were like. (My only problem, according to the interviewer,
> was too much G in NG.)
> I never thought to enquire whether they pre-screened the
> freshmen. E.g., if you came out of Andover, Exeter, Groton, Milton
> Academy, et al., and were white (and didn't say "Hahvahd Yahd", I
> suppose), you passed through without having to orate. If you were
> from the Bronx or Brooklyn, or Jewish, or black, you had to go
> through the vetting.

Well, my father was screened and told he had to take the speech class
because of his "l defect" (which I think, on the basis of what he said,
was that he had dark l in environments where normative English had clear

Alice Faber                                       faber at
Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963

The American Dialect Society -

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