[Ads-l] "Might as well," re-analyzed; dialect clash

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 3 01:53:28 UTC 2014

A post to a Web page:

"The show _minus well_ be called something different for every episode."

Since this is from the site, "Bl[ack-]Asian Narrative," I assume

m[aI]t [@s] well > m[~a~I]t [@s] well > m[~a~In] [@s] well > [m~a~In at s]

which is spelled "_minus_ well."

The nasalization of vowels after nasals is one of the many peculiarities of
BE that I've had to disabuse myself of, in talking to white people.

One time, in Los Angeles, my date asked me ("&" = aesc),

"[Iz T&t &@.miIs]?"

For those who've come in late, the black bourgeoisie - "boojies" - of L.A.
use a version of BE that is *very* close to the local sE. So, what I heard
was sE "Is that" followed by "standard" BE, including the required drawling
melisma and breaking, "eye-a me-iss."

"Is that 'eye-a mee-iss'?"

I tried "air mist"? No. "Arrow miss(ed)"? No. "I/eye a-mist/-missed"?

IAC, it turned out that she was rhetorically asking whether I was wearing
Aramis, a popular men's cologne of that era.

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list