online accent quiz

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Mon Dec 4 00:33:41 UTC 2006

Why defend any so-called mispronunciations? When  I go to bullshit
places like those where Zurinskas is from, I hear peolple confuse
"hoarse and "horse" (as I don't), but for some reason (sic) they
don't think the linguistic world is coming to an end when they
conflate these vowels. Why are some coflations good and others bad?
All just bullshit prejudice.


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
>Subject:      Re: online accent quiz
>Why defend mispronunciations.  Sure folks in some areas say  pin for pen.
>So when they say "I've got a pin for you" you don't know what they mean.  Is
>it pin or pen?
>My friend was working with a speach recognition program.  He said the stupid
>program recognized "bed" for "bad".  I said let me hear you say it.  Then I
>said "You are saying "bed" instead of "bad".
>If that's "knot" a "bed" homonym "eye" don't "no" "watt"t is.  :-)
>Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL4+
>See and the 4 truespel books at
>>From: Michael H Covarrubias <mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU>
>>Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Subject: Re: online accent quiz
>>Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 01:37:51 -0500
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Michael H Covarrubias <mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU>
>>Subject:      Re: online accent quiz
>>Quoting Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>:
>>  > The caught/cot distinction
>>  > won't go because it shouldn't.
>>This must mean that English lost the [a:]/[a] distinction because it should
>>have.  Was there also a requirement that led to the vowel shift?
>>  > You may not care, but there are those
>>  > that do.  Awe-droppers do the language
>>  > a disservice, create unnecessary homonyms,
>>  > thereby lessening intelligibility and ease
>>  > of learning English.
>>  > [...]
>>I doubt I could make a reasonable distinction between necessary and
>>  > I have no clue what dInIs is.
>>  > SAMPA for Dennis?  Both vowels are
>>  > short i? This does not happen in USA.
>>  > You must be a Brit?
>>  > Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL4+
>>Despite your apparent view of the supremacy of your dialect/idiolect the
>>does indeed occur as a surface form for many speakers of American English.
>>Have you never heard someone pronounce "pen" [pIn]?  It's not a secret.
>>not rare.  It's not wrong it's not evil and it won't ruin the language.
>>Michael Covarrubias
>>     English Language & Linguistics
>>     Purdue University
>>     mcovarru at
>>    <>
>>The American Dialect Society -
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>The American Dialect Society -

It should be the chief aim of a university professor to exhibit
himself in his own true character - that is, as an ignorant man [sic]
thinking, actively utilizing his small share of knowledge. Alfred
North Whitehead

There are many different religions in this world, but if you look at
them carefully, you'll see that they all have one thing in common:
They were invented by a giant, superintelligent slug named Dennis.
Homer Simpson

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

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