Obama's sidiolect put down by a white yet again

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 3 22:48:49 UTC 2012

I think Obama adopts different rhetorical styles depending on his audience.

I don't have a problem with that.

I don't understand why anyone would, unless they are a member of the press
who finds the substance of politics too boring or just above their
intellectual level, while the change in style is something they can


On Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Obama's sidiolect put down by a white yet again
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Do you mean to say that EVERY white Californian you have ever spoken to
> in
> > your life has begun to drop his 'g's in your presence??
> >
> > Most white Californians?
> >
> > Some white Californians?
> >
> > A few white Californians, but you remember them more strongly?
> >
> > One white Californian?
> >
> > Just wonderin'...
> IME - from hearing the speech colleagues at the Los Angeles Department
> of Water & Power, classmates at UCLA, UC Davis, fellow-members of the
> (former?) California linguistic association from Berkeley, Stanford,
> Santa Cruz, and other California colleges and universities - "g-drop,"
> like the raising of /E/ to [I] in the environment before nasals, is
> part and parcel of everyday, colloquial speech among Californians in
> general, whether from San Diego or Mendocino or of whatever race,
> ethnicity, or social class.
> Hence, for me to assume that these two features are merely
> "false-faces" - what Hallowe'en masks are called in Marshall, Texas,
> BE - put on for my benefit by every living soul that I've ever heard
> speak in California is no more reasonable than it is for white
> political columnists to assert that "g-drop" is an unnatural feature
> of Obama's speech that he adds only when he's falsely and
> unsuccessfully trying to portray himself as a regular feller - "a
> plain, ole country-boy / Just a 'tater-lovin' country-boy" - in the
> Harry Truman mold.
> If you can't beat them and they won't let you join them, then what is
> there left to do?
> "Stay black and die,"
> as we say in the 'hood.
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
> to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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