"ample bits" and "pleather"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 29 20:07:05 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 7:14 AM, Jonathan Lighter
<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's just free!

"I heard that!" to use a neologism. In my lost youth, that level of
approval was expressed by the seemingly-negative, "You ain't said
shit!" Or, if there was a reason to cool one's tongue, "You ain't said

I'm watching a reality-show - Hoarding: Buried Alive - episode filmed
in Canada. The people have such *strong* Canadian accents that, at
first, I thought that I was hearing non-native speakers well-versed in
ESL. It's like a textbook on Canadian dialectology come to life.
Heretofore, my concept of "Canadian English" pretty much coincided
with the speech of Geoff Nathan. As Colbert might put it, "He tells me
he's a Canadian. I believe it." But these speakers aren't just using
"eh," "been" as bean, "a-gain" and what I hear as more like - but not
the same as - "oat and a boat" than like "oot and a boot." They're
using every phonologically-stereotypical Canadianism known to man!

Really interesting. I had no idea that "Canadian English" was at least
as meaningful a concept as, well, "Black English." No wonder that
"North American English" hasn't  caught on in the States.

BTW, what does the word "vernacular" mean in "B _Vernacular_ E" / "AA
_Vernacular_ E" mean? I've long hoped that, in a moment of clarity, it
would become transparent to me the purpose of specifically noting that
the dialect is the *vernacular* variety, as opposed to being one of
the other varieties of the BE / AAE dialect. The literary one,
perhaps. It's like splitting an infinitive with _not_. I just don't
get it.

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

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