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If you are on Twitter, you might have witnessed a fascinating discussion about how speakers of different dialects pronounce the word "squirrel." This reminded me of my linguistics and history of English courses - which I found truly fascinating. I got all excited and decided to make this blog post, so here we are.
One really important thing is, there is no "right way" to speak. There are some wrong ways to speak, sure. Like, if you pronounce the word "cheese" with a hard K at the start, I'm not going to call that a dialect difference. But from place to place, accent to accent, dialect to dialect, culture to culture, each way of speaking is equally "right." The idea of "proper English" is about power dynamics, colonialism, and social consensus.
My favorite language facts! (These are from memory of my coursework several years ago, so if I've misremembered anything please feel free to let me know)
English spelling is so crazy because the spelling system predates a major shift in vowel pronunciation during (I think it was) the middle period of English
Hogwarts was supposedly founded in the 10th century, aka the 900s, which means the school predates the Normal Invasion in 1066 that lead to, among other things, the creation of what would become modern English. If we traveled back in time to the opening day at Hogwarts, the Founders would be speaking Anglo Saxon, and it would be essentially incomprehensible to us.
Although English contains significantly more words of French and Latin origin that Germanic origin, the majority of our most commonly used words are still of Germanic origin.
English has a larger vocabulary than most other Western languages because we adopt vocabulary from other languages shamelessly into our own vernacular.
Shakespeare's speech was more similar to a modern US accent than a modern English accent.
If you search "dialect tag" or "accent tag" on YouTube, you'll find a whole bunch of people comparing different versions of English. It's really fun!
I can't do the word list for pronunciation in writing, but these are the typical accent tag questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider (or spider-like creature) that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
TP (teepee) a house
I said "pop" until I went to college on the east coast and now I say "soda"
If they are specially for the gym, I call them "gym shoes" lol. But generally, "sneakers".
Daddy long legs
Grandma and grandpa
shopping cart (I generally just say "cart")
remote control (I usually just say "remote")
I live in the northern midwest region of the United States, and have for essentially all of my life (except college)
I cannot hear the difference between the words "caught" and "cot". That vowel sounds exactly the same to me. This is fairly common for people my age and younger in this general region.
A = sidewalk; B = boulevard; C = curb
And, of course, I pronounce squirrel as "skwerl"
Share your answers, if you want!
Thank you so much to @TreacleTart and @starbuck for their help in putting together this blog post!
If you have been around the forums the past month, you surely observed or participated in the wonderful House Cup event the staffers created for us,
🦁 🦅 The Magical Menagerie 🐍 🐼
This event was wonderful for many reasons! Houses had the opportunity to partner with each other, it provided the opportunity to read stories that might earn a FROGS nomination down the road, and of course, leave and receive many reviews. The set up so incredibly creative, and it's truly amazing how the staffers wrote those descriptive passages to help us figure out which creatures were available for the catching.
Of course, in order for this event to be the wonderful time it was, staffers had to work hard during the event, too. So, we'd like to take this opportunity to say a tremendous
❤️ ❤️ THANK YOU ❤️ ❤️
to the Magizoologists we saw jumping into our Menagerie threads to answer questions and count up our reviews.
Thank you so much to...
Please rehost and credit these fantastic graphics to starbuck at HPFT
We appreciate all you do so much!
And a huge thank you to all other staffers as well! Your work behind the scenes may have been less visible, but it is just as important. We love all our wonderful staffers!
If you have not already done so, please consider leaving a thank you gift for our marvelous Magizoologists. Reviews, WJ questions, graphics, or simply a thank you comment in this thread. Whatever you can do, we want them to know how much we all appreciate them!
As you may know if you've looked at the bullet journal thread in the Great Hall, I am absolutely obsessed with bullet journaling. 😍 It's an addiction. I have a problem. 😍😍
Since it's almost a new month, I spent some time tonight setting up my bullet journal spread for September. Part of this monthly ritual includes choosing a quote to inspire me for the next thirty days. I decided I wanted a place to record and share all the quotes I've used so far, so here they are!
In case you can't read my hand writing or the image isn't working, here they are written out
"Excellence is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle
"You've been criticizing yourself for years. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." -Louise Hay
Bloom dangerously. -Rupi Kaur (paraphrase)
"Bloom beautifully / dangerously / loudly / bloom softly / however you need / just bloom." -Rupi Kaur (I really love this poem, hence the repeat)
"They say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." -Andy Warhol
"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?" -Oscar Wilde
July "Just like moons and like suns / With the certainty of tides / Just like hopes springing high / Still I'll rise." - Maya Angelou <3333 #queen
"Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure." (source uncertain)
"Remember that failure is an event, not a person." -Zig Ziglar
My favorite designs are April and August, but I really love the quote from February.
If you have any favorite quotes you'd like to share, I am always looking for new ones!