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Dialect

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NEWS
April 12, 1986 | By Carol Pearson, Special to The Inquirer
From the shores of the "Mon" River to the "Sahth Side," to the U.S. Steel building "dohntahn," Pittsburghers for generations have spoken in a foreign tongue - a language they call Pittsburghese. People in western Pennsylvania have spoken in their familiar dialect ever since their Scottish descendants settled in the Pittsburgh area. But the lingo became popularized as Pittsburghese in 1981 when Pittsburgher Sam McCool published his guide, How to Speak Pittsburghese. Pittsburghese T- shirts, mugs, pens, pencils and other paraphernalia can be found from the trinket shops in the Pittsburgh airport to the classy stores of Pittsburgh's Station Square on the Monongahela River.
NEWS
February 7, 1991 | By Andrew Hussie, Special to The Inquirer
When Barbara Greer Josato traveled to Charleston, S.C., for her aunt's funeral in 1987, she heard a poem that had been written by her aunt in an old black American dialect. As the poem was read aloud during the service, she could barely understand a word of it. Yet this was the language spoken by her ancestors. She became intrigued. The little-known dialect, called Gullah, is still spoken by some people, most of whom are elderly and live on the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, Josato found out. But it is a dying language.
NEWS
July 5, 1988 | By Ken Tucker, Inquirer TV Critic
Public television continues to capitalize on summer reruns and the writers' strike by offering an intriguing series of 12 films grouped under the collective title P.O.V. (Channel 12, 10 p.m.). The idea behind P.O.V. - short for "Point of View" - is to present recent, highly praised documentaries that may or may not have had theatrical releases but that have never been shown on television. Tonight's P.O.V. presentation consists of two 1987 films, American Tongues and Acting Our Age. American Tongues won a 1988 Peabody Award for its fast-paced look at the myriad American dialects.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Youse guys sure have an interesting way of talking. But once you've dispensed with the obvious - that is, you've waded through the wooder , finished off that hoagie , and checked your attytood - the question remains: What is the Philly dialect, really? How do you speak Philadelphian? And what, exactly, is a jawn ? Tracking down answers turns out to be a complex proposition: Not only is there more than one dialect in Philadelphia, but those dialects are evolving, according to linguists.
NEWS
January 3, 1999 | By William Lamb, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
The cluttered home that Carl Arner shares with his wife, Minerva, in Macungie, southwestern Berks County, clearly belongs to a man unwilling to part with the things that define an upbringing steeped in the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Nor is Arner, 62, inclined to give up the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect he has spoken since childhood. The former Upper Perkiomen High School guidance counselor has devoted much of his retired life to perpetuating the language his ancestors brought here from Germany's Palatinate region - a tongue that he reluctantly acknowledges is dying as fewer young people pick it up. "There's still quite a bit of it around, but there's less and less," said Arner, whose healthy mop of white hair frames his ruddy, mustachioed face.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 2011 | By MOLLY EICHEL, eichelm@phillynews.com 215-854-5909
LIKE MANY from the region who left to attend college outside of the area, Sean Monahan had the "wooder" teased out of him. While attending the College of Wooster in Ohio, his newfound friends poked fun at his Philly accent. "I knew that the vocabulary was different. I say 'hoe-gies,' and not a lot of others say 'hoe-gies,' " said Monahan, who grew up in Bensalem and Langhorne and now resides in the Southwark section of Philadelphia. It's not that Monahan hadn't noticed his accent before.
NEWS
April 8, 2013 | By Clark DeLeon
Like most Philadelphia natives, I know the sound of a Philadelphia accent: "So I tollum straight up, 'Yo, Paulie, your sister's wit me. And we're gawna ride widges down-ashore or this car don't make it past Pashunk Avenue!' " And like most Philadelphia natives, I don't hear any accent in my voice when ordering kawfee at the Melrose or wooder ice at Rita's. Yanohwaddamean? Seriously, me? An accent? Fuhgeddaboudit. Nevertheless, I was disturbed by the recent headline "The Strange Decline of the Philly Accent" in the Atlantic magazine's online site, theatlanticcities.com.
NEWS
June 21, 1988 | By RON AVERY, Daily News Staff Writer
Look out, South Philly - Claudine Clark Hicks has finished writing her book. She'll soon be marching up and down the streets again every Sunday at 8 a.m. with her bullhorn, rounding up youngsters for Sunday school. A pixie-size dynamo, Hicks is a familiar figure around 24th and Tasker. The wife of the Rev. Ervin Hicks, she is constantly visiting the sick, comforting mourners, cheering the depressed, leading the chorus. As a woman who feels her God-given mission is working with children, Hicks' basement has been kind of a free day-care center for a couple of generations of neighborhood kids.
NEWS
January 27, 2010
SO HARRY Reid apologized for insulting the entire black community by referring to the way he implied that they speak in referring to "that Negro dialect" - and then every news outlet accepts, forgives and even says he's right. I bet Al Sharpton would back Archie Bunker's run for Senate as long as he ran as a Democrat. They must think we're the meatheads and dingbats. Keith Callan Philadelphia
NEWS
February 20, 1994 | By Sandy Bauers, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Years ago, I picked up a copy of Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road, the Depression- era classic about the hard, sometimes comical lives of some memorable Georgia farmers. I put it down soon after. Even though I lived in Georgia and was used to the way Southerners sounded, I tired of trudging through the cumbersome written dialect. Partly it was words like ain't and phrases like if I had knowed. Mostly, I was just out of sync. But now along comes Mark Hammer's excellent narration of Tobacco Road for Recorded Books (6 1/2 hours, $39 purchase and $13.50 rental; order by calling 800-638-1304)
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Youse guys sure have an interesting way of talking. But once you've dispensed with the obvious - that is, you've waded through the wooder , finished off that hoagie , and checked your attytood - the question remains: What is the Philly dialect, really? How do you speak Philadelphian? And what, exactly, is a jawn ? Tracking down answers turns out to be a complex proposition: Not only is there more than one dialect in Philadelphia, but those dialects are evolving, according to linguists.
NEWS
December 13, 2013 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
Theatrical dialect coaches believe that in an actor's creation of a character, the talk has to precede the walk - or, if you're a Jersey boy, the "tawk" precedes the "wawk" - especially if you're going to sing a "sawng. " And that means you need a dialect coach. Dialect coaches are like Henry Higgins, the phonetics professor from Shaw's Pygmalion and, later, Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady . They can tell where you're from at the drop of a consonant. Jersey Boys , the popular musical about Frankie Valli and his guy-group the Four Seasons, has been workin' its way back to us, babe, on national tour, and opens Thursday for a month at the Forrest Theatre, its third visit in four years.
NEWS
April 8, 2013 | By Clark DeLeon
Like most Philadelphia natives, I know the sound of a Philadelphia accent: "So I tollum straight up, 'Yo, Paulie, your sister's wit me. And we're gawna ride widges down-ashore or this car don't make it past Pashunk Avenue!' " And like most Philadelphia natives, I don't hear any accent in my voice when ordering kawfee at the Melrose or wooder ice at Rita's. Yanohwaddamean? Seriously, me? An accent? Fuhgeddaboudit. Nevertheless, I was disturbed by the recent headline "The Strange Decline of the Philly Accent" in the Atlantic magazine's online site, theatlanticcities.com.
NEWS
December 3, 2011 | By Nick Malawski, HARRISBURG PATRIOT-NEWS
HARRISBURG - As we gather around the table over the holidays, listen to the words that come out of your relatives' mouths. More important - listen to how they're pronounced. Do you have any plans to go dahntahn in Pittsburgh? Or did you see Philadelphia's Meir Nutter at the holiday parade? If you're in northern Pennsylvania, along the New York border, you may sound as if you have cawt a kindishin . Few kitchen tables can be as linguistically cluttered as a Pennsylvania table when the family comes to town.
NEWS
March 17, 2011
Sam Chwat was a master of accents who taught Robert De Niro to talk like an Appalachian ex-convict, Olympia Dukakis to sound like a Holocaust survivor, and Peter Boyle to play the character of a Southern bigot. A modern-day Henry Higgins, he also trained some actors to lose accents, helping Julia Roberts drop her native Georgia drawl and Tony Danza his distinctive Brooklynese. Mr. Chwat, 57, died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma March 3 on Long Island, N.Y. He ran the Sam Chwat Speech Center in New York City, which has helped thousands of people with speech challenges, including politicians and corporate executives.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 5, 2011 | By MOLLY EICHEL, eichelm@phillynews.com 215-854-5909
LIKE MANY from the region who left to attend college outside of the area, Sean Monahan had the "wooder" teased out of him. While attending the College of Wooster in Ohio, his newfound friends poked fun at his Philly accent. "I knew that the vocabulary was different. I say 'hoe-gies,' and not a lot of others say 'hoe-gies,' " said Monahan, who grew up in Bensalem and Langhorne and now resides in the Southwark section of Philadelphia. It's not that Monahan hadn't noticed his accent before.
NEWS
January 27, 2010
SO HARRY Reid apologized for insulting the entire black community by referring to the way he implied that they speak in referring to "that Negro dialect" - and then every news outlet accepts, forgives and even says he's right. I bet Al Sharpton would back Archie Bunker's run for Senate as long as he ran as a Democrat. They must think we're the meatheads and dingbats. Keith Callan Philadelphia
NEWS
November 18, 2008 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The most strikingly false note in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, which opened Friday at the Montgomery Theater, comes in its ending - but, gee, that's messy to describe without blowing the story line. I'll finesse it later. There's plenty more where that comes from. Alfred Uhry's play - he also wrote the lovely Driving Miss Daisy - won the best-play Tony in 1997, and lots of people like it. I find it one-dimensional, and Montgomery Theater's production, which felt under-rehearsed opening night, puts Ballyhoo's missteps in the spotlight.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2006 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
"For so many years you haven't made a mistake. Then you make one. It feels inevitable. You signal right, intending to go left. And you pay the price. " Oliver Lucas, is, we will eventually learn, talking literally about an automobile accident. But the political metaphor is too tantalizing to resist in this prefatory speech, which opens The Vertical Hour. Last season, David Hare's brilliant Stuff Happens, a play about the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, showed us the players on the world stage: Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Rice.
NEWS
May 21, 2006 | By Melissa Dribben INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Dan Brown is good. But as ingenious as The Da Vinci Code may be, the author can't compete with the average American family, office staff and college campus in the fabrication of impenetrable codes. Not those complex computer codes or ubiquitous bar codes or the lol codes used in so many IMs. Rather, the secret acronyms, subtextual phrases and redefined nouns that people invent at home, at work and among friends. Insider stuff fulfilling some innate, Spanky-and-Our-Gang need to own key words that unlock the clubhouse door.
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