Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue Nov 29 02:10:55 UTC 2005

Yes, I have experienced such stuff too, but I stand by the clarity of
"I wouldn't take no bets on the author being a southerner."


>       I raise the question because, in my experience, this kind of
>extended and purportedly humorous vocabulary list is most often offered
>by someone who is a member of the group in question.  I'm not sure,
>dInIs, if you mean that you would not bet that the author is a
>Southerner, that you would not bet that the author is not a Southerner,
>or that you consider the question too doubtful to place a bet at all.
>I, however, would bet a modest amount that the author is a Southerner
>who considers that he or she personally does not exhibit all of the
>pronunciations described.
>John Baker
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>Of Dennis R. Preston
>Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 6:30 PM
>Subject: Re: y'all-omigod-bonics
>Nearly everyone in the US considers him or herself to be "familiar"
>with Southern (and African American) speech and (caught unawares) is
>quite willing tom offer an "imitation" of it. IN our numerous studies of
>perception of US varieties, the "South" is always the most salient area,
>even among northern respondents. I wouldn't take no bets on the author
>being a southerner (and, of course, inaccuracies in the representation
>would not decide the matter in one direction or the
>>   Are you sure it's an outsider perception?  The one thing we can say
>>with some confidence is that the author considers himself or herself to
>>be quite familiar with this "Southern slang."  I would guess that it
>>was written by a Southerner.
>>John Baker

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15-C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1036
Phone: (517) 353-4736
Fax: (517) 353-3755
preston at msu.edu

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