Joel S. Berson
Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Dec 28 20:38:55 UTC 2006
How did I miss this one for so long? Prompted by today's "Sylvia"
daily comic strip.
>Cows with regional accents? Pull the udder one
>By ANDREW LEVY Last updated at 22:37pm on 22nd August 2006
>hey have one word in their vocabulary and it's a single syllable at that.
>But farmers claim cows appear to 'moo' in regional accents, despite
>their limited conversational skills.
>Herds in the West Country have been heard lowing with a distinctive
>Somerset twang - prompting some to claim the sound is more 'moo-arr' than moo.
>Brummie accents have been noticed in the Midlands, while Geordie
>tones abound in Tyne and Wear and there are overtones of Estuary
>English around the South East.
>A similar phenomenon has previously been noticed among wild birds,
>which twitter in different accents depending on what part of the
>country they are from.
>The difference with the bovine version is that cattle are believed
>to be picking up their owners' accents and may even be passing them
>on to their calves.
>The regional twangs were first noticed by members of the West
>Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group. Members spend hours with their
>herds making sure they are wearing cow coats and playing them classical music.
>The practice is supposed to contribute towards the local cheddar's
>distinctive flavour. [Must be Wensleydale.]
[more on the web page]
Crows, with a much larger vocabulary than cows, also have regional
differences, but I guess they should be called dialects, not
accents. Crows in Europe do not understand the calls of crows from
North America, and vice versa. Scientific American, some time in the
1950s I think.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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