James C Stalker stalker at MSU.EDU
Tue May 29 03:00:33 UTC 2007

Given that these are broadcasts, is it possible that the discourse structure
expects drop in listeners who may want to know which Johnny or whoever the
speaker is talking about or to?  When I am driving and listening to NPR, my
attention is often shifted to a total focus on the potentially dangerous
situation in front of me.  When I can return to listening as well as
driving, I am likely to come into an interview or whatever in progress.
Johnny won't do.  Johnny who?


Doug Harris writes:

> Alan Chartok, the main man (president, political commentator, overall
> overseer but _not_ CBW) at WAMC Public Radio in Albany NY does the same
> thing on most of his half-hour one-on-ones with politicos. It is _very_
> awkward-sounding, as if he doesn't know whether to be familiar and call
> them by their first name or address them more formally.
> He'll say something like, "Well, Jon Blogs, is it your feeling that black
> is merely white of another color, or..."
> When Chartok does it, the FN+LN style is grating, since he has such a
> strong tendency in his promos to (at least attempt to) give the impression
> that every one he's about to interview is his best bud. And his intros on
> almost every interview sound fawning.
> (the other) doug
> At 11:00 AM -0700 5/26/07, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>>i've been sort-of-watching a long Biography episode about Johnny
>>Depp.  one of his biographers provides a great many comments about
>>Depp and his work -- always referring to him as "Johnny Depp", never
>>"Johnny" or "Depp".  (almost everyone else uses "Johnny" all the
>>time, though the narrator seems to use FN + LN at the beginning of a
>>new segment of the show and in summary statements.)  very awkward
>>effect, as though the guy was introducing Depp into the discourse
>>again and again.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

James C. Stalker
Department of English
Michigan State University

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

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